Kentucky State Capitol

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Kentucky State Capitol
U.S. Route 60 Frankfort, KY (23892062134).jpg
Kentucky State Capitol Front Exterior
Location700 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky
Coordinates38°11′12″N 84°52′31″W / 38.1867°N 84.8753°W / 38.1867; -84.8753Coordinates: 38°11′12″N 84°52′31″W / 38.1867°N 84.8753°W / 38.1867; -84.8753
ArchitectFrank Mills Andrews
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts
NRHP reference #73000804 [1]
Added to NRHPApril 13, 1973
the south view of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort Kentucky; photographed with an ultra wide-angle 8mm fish-eye lens
the north view of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort Kentucky with the moon above

The Kentucky State Capitol is located in Frankfort and is the house of the three branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of the state government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Previous buildings[edit]

Kentucky state capitol marble staircase

From 1792 to 1830, two buildings were used as the capitol, both of which burned completely.[2]

In 1830, another capitol was built and was used until 1910. During a bitterly contested 1899 state governor election, Democratic Party claimant William Goebel was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. The need for a larger building for a growing state government resulted in the replacement of that capitol building, which is now a museum operated by the Kentucky Historical Society.[3]

Current 1910 building[edit]

In 1904, the Kentucky General Assembly chose Frankfort (rather than Lexington or Louisville) as the location for the state capital and appropriated $1 million for the construction of a permanent state capitol building, to be located in southern Frankfort. The official ground-breaking was August 14, 1905 and construction was completed in 1909 at a cost of $1,180,434.80.[2] The building was dedicated on June 2, 1910.[4]

The capitol was designed by Frank Mills Andrews, a distinguished and award-winning architect. He used the Beaux-Arts style and included many classical French interior designs. The staircases, for example, are replicas of those of the Opéra Garnier in Paris.[5]

the south-east facade of the Kentucky State Capitol building located in Frankfort, Kentucky


the Capitol Dome of the Kentucky State Capitol building located in Frankfort, Kentucky; photographed at dusk looking south-east

The main part of the Capitol has three floors. The first floor contains the offices of the governor (and his or her staff), lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. It also features a rotunda with statues of famous Kentuckians and other exhibits, including Kentucky Women Remembered.

The second floor contains the courtroom of the state Supreme Court, as well as the chambers of the justices. The state law library is nearby.

The chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate face each other on opposite ends of the third floor. Some high-level legislative offices (such as for the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate) are also located there.

The Capitol also has a partial fourth floor which houses the galleries of the House and Senate, as well as a few offices for legislative committee staffers.

In addition, there is a partially buried basement level with mostly offices for clerks and maintenance personnel. However, it also contains a small gift shop and lunch counter as well as an underground tunnel to the neighboring Capitol Annex building. The Annex houses General Assembly committee rooms, General Assembly members offices and a cafeteria.


The Capitol used to be completely open during normal business hours, and local residents often used the marble hallways for exercise (the Frankfort equivalent of "mall walking"). Currently, anyone without proper state credentials must go through a metal detector. Security for the complex is provided by officers from the Facilities Security Branch of the Kentucky State Police along with specifically assigned state troopers.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15.
  2. ^ a b c Buchta, David L. (2010). Kentucky's State Capitol. United States: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738585789. Retrieved on 2013-08-08
  3. ^ Kentucky State Capitol Timeline Retrieved 2013-08-08
  4. ^ Kentucky State Capitol: The Commonwealth's Magnificient [sic] Edifice Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine Kentucky Division of Historic Properties. Retrieved 2013-08-08
  5. ^ Architecture of Frankfort City of Frankfort. Retrieved 2013-08-08

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mother of God Roman Catholic Church
Tallest Building in Kentucky
Succeeded by
Kentucky Home Life Building