Old Capitol Building

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Old Capitol Building
Olympia, WA — Old Capitol Building and Sylvester Park.jpg
Old Capitol Building is located in Washington (state)
Old Capitol Building
Location 600 Washington Street SE, Olympia, Washington
Coordinates 47°2′34.51″N 122°53′58.4″W / 47.0429194°N 122.899556°W / 47.0429194; -122.899556Coordinates: 47°2′34.51″N 122°53′58.4″W / 47.0429194°N 122.899556°W / 47.0429194; -122.899556
Area less than one acre
Built 1892
Architect Willis Ritchie
Architectural style Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 75001877[1]
Added to NRHP May 30, 1975

The Old Capitol Building or The Castle, as it is locally known, is a building in Olympia, Washington. Designed by Willis A. Ritchie, it was built from 1890 to 1892 as the Thurston County Courthouse, and served from 1905 until 1928 as the state capitol, seat of the legislature of Washington; in 1928 the legislature moved to the current Capitol Building. It is now the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.[2]

The building has survived several disasters, after each of which it has been repaired. A fire in 1928 resulted in the loss of a central tower.[2] After the 1949 Olympia earthquake, the building was evacuated and suffered severe damage to its masonry exterior that had to be repaired over the following few months at a cost of $1.1 million.[3][4] 10 of the 12 towers were lost in the earthquake, along with a rotunda, the House chamber, and several galleries in the East Wing.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, Shaping Seattle Architecture, University of Washington Press (1994, revised 1998). ISBN 0-295-97366-8. p. 44.
  3. ^ "Quake Repairs; Olympia Rebuilds". The Seattle Daily Times. July 8, 1949. p. 16. 
  4. ^ "Senate Seeks Payment of Old Capitol Debt". The Seattle Daily Times. March 11, 1951. p. 8. 
  5. ^ "The Old Capitol Building continues to serve". Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. May 20, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • About us, Superintendent of Public Instruction: Information on the Old State Capitol Building