North Carolina State Capitol

Coordinates: 35°46′49.3″N 78°38′20.8″W / 35.780361°N 78.639111°W / 35.780361; -78.639111
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North Carolina State Capitol
North Carolina State Capitol is located in North Carolina
North Carolina State Capitol
North Carolina State Capitol is located in the United States
North Carolina State Capitol
Interactive map showing North Carolina State Capitol's location
Location1 E Edenton St, Raleigh, North Carolina
Coordinates35°46′49.3″N 78°38′20.8″W / 35.780361°N 78.639111°W / 35.780361; -78.639111
Architectural styleGreek Revival
Part ofCapitol Area Historic District (ID78001978)
NRHP reference No.70000476
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 26, 1970[2]
Designated NHLNovember 6, 1973[1]
Designated CPApril 15, 1978

The North Carolina State Capitol is the former seat of the legislature of the U.S. state of North Carolina which housed all of the state's government until 1888. The Supreme Court and State Library moved into a separate building in 1888, and the General Assembly moved into the State Legislative Building in 1963. Today, the governor and his immediate staff occupy offices on the first floor of the Capitol.


The building was built following the destruction by fire of the first North Carolina State House in 1831,[3] and today houses the offices of the Governor of North Carolina. It is located in the state capital of Raleigh on Union Square at One East Edenton Street. The cornerstone of the Greek Revival building was laid with Masonic honors by the Grand Master of North Carolina Masons Simmons Jones Baker on July 4, 1833.[4] Construction was completed in 1840.[5] It was designed primarily by the architectural firm of Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis. Often credited solely to that team, the design of the capitol was actually the result of a sequence of work by William Nichols Sr. and his son William Nichols Jr., Town and Davis, and then David Paton.[6] The Capitol housed the entire state government until 1888, and the North Carolina General Assembly met in the capitol building until 1961. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina laid a second cornerstone on the centenary of the first on July 4, 1933.[7] The legislature relocated to its current location in the North Carolina State Legislative Building in 1963. The North Carolina Supreme Court has also convened in the building in the past, most recently meeting in the capitol's senate chamber in 2005 while the Supreme Court Building was undergoing renovations. The Governor and the governor's immediate staff has continued to occupy offices in the building.[8] The Capitol remains largely unaltered from its 1840 state. Only three rooms have been significantly altered through remodeling: the two committee rooms in the east and west wings of the second floor, which were divided horizontally to provide space for restrooms, and the office in the east wing of the first floor, part of which had to be cut away to permit space for an elevator to be installed in 1951.[9] The Capitol was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973 and the building is located in the Capitol Area Historic District.[1][10]

The first assembly to meet in this building was the 63rd North Carolina General Assembly of 1840–1841 on November 16, 1840. The last assembly to meet in this building was the 124th North Carolina General Assembly of 1961, which met from February 8 to June 22, 1961.[11]

Following the heated protests for racial equality of 2020, Governor Roy Cooper ordered the removal of the largest Confederate statue on the State Capitol Grounds.[12]

The 2021 state budget included $10 million to repair the roof, including the dome. Replacement of the roof is planned for 2023.[13]

North Carolina legislature buildings[edit]

The North Carolina General Assembly may have initially met in Tryon Palace after being vacated by the British in 1776. The assembly met in various locations until a building dedicated for use by the state government was completed in 1794 in Raleigh. This building was destroyed by fire in 1831. The North Carolina State Capitol building was the home to the assembly from 1840 to 1961.[11]

Name First Occupied (Assembly) Last Occupied (Assembly) Picture
Tryon Palace 1777 (1st) 1777
Tryon Palace
North Carolina State House 1794 (19th) 1810 (35th)
North Carolina State House
Renovated North Carolina State House 1811 (36th) 1831 (55th)
Renovated North Carolina State House
North Carolina State Capitol 1840 (63rd) 1961 (124th)
North Carolina State Capitol
North Carolina State Legislative Building 1963 (125th) still in use
North Carolina State Legislative Building

Images of the North Carolina State Capitol building[edit]

In the rotunda is a statue of George Washington. The rotunda statue is a replica of the original statue by Antonio Canova, which was destroyed by a fire in 1831. A bust of the 29th Governor of North Carolina (1841–1845), John Motley Morehead, sits inside the capitol. A statue of George Washington is on the south side of the capitol. On the east side of the capitol sits a statue of the three Presidents of the United States from North Carolina: James Knox Polk of Mecklenburg County, Andrew Jackson of Union County sitting on horse, and Andrew Johnson of Wake County. The grounds of the capitol also include statues honoring women of the Confederacy, veterans of the Civil War and Viet Nam War.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Capitol (North Carolina)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2008.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ Miskimon, Scott A. (2010). "The Fires of 1831: Fayetteville and Raleigh in Flames".
  4. ^ Smith, Claiborne T. Jr. (1979). Powell, William S. (ed.). Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. Vol. 1 (A-C). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-8078-1329-X.
  5. ^ "North Carolina Historic Sites: State Capitol". Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Historic Sites. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "Nichols, William (1780-1853)". North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Directory. The NCSU Libraries Digital Scholarship and Publishing Center. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Grand Lodge of North Carolina (1934). Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons of North Carolina [1934].
  8. ^ "Conservation and Preservation of the State Capitol Historic Site". North Carolina State Capitol Foundation. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  9. ^ North Carolina State Capitol Docent Manual. NC Division of State Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources, 4/2012
  10. ^ Zehmer, Jack; Ingram, Sherry (April 22, 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Capitol" (pdf). Digital Archive on NPGallery. National Park Service. and Accompanying five photos, exterior and interior, from c. 1940 and 1969 (32 KB)
  11. ^ a b Cheney, John L. Jr., ed. (1975). North Carolina Government, 1585-1974, A Narrative and Statistical History.
  12. ^ WTVD (June 21, 2020). "75-foot North Carolina Confederate monument to be removed from Capitol grounds following Gov. Cooper's order". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  13. ^ Vaughn, Dawn Baumgartner (March 24, 2023). "North Carolina Capitol dome to be replaced, blue color to change". News and Observer. p. 1A.
  14. ^ Williams, Wiley J. (2006). "State Capitol". NCPEDIA. Retrieved November 21, 2019.

External links[edit]