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Olympia in Thurston County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Washington's State Capitol Design

 
 
Washington's State Capitol Design Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 25, 2015
1. Washington's State Capitol Design Marker
Inscription.  On August 3, 1911, the Washington State Capitol Commission awarded first prize in a design competition for our state's new capitol to New York architects Walter R. Wilder and Harry K. White. Wilder and White were relatively unknown, young architects whose ambitious plan for a group of six buildings for the state capitol was selected over 32 other entries.

The Wilder and White design is grounded in classical architectural styles recalling the temples of ancient Greece and Rome. It is among the last examples in an era known as American Renaissance and City Beautiful. The assembly of buildings faces Capitol Lake, Puget Sound and the distant Olympic Mountains, and is intended to be seen from afar as a single large structure supporting the dome of the Legislative Building at the center.

Work on the capitol buildings began in 1911, with the fifth building completed in 1940. The sixth building, intended for the western edge of the campus, was never built.

This sign commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Wilder and White design, August 2011.

Olympia is wonderfully expressive of the State of Washington.
Marker detail: Walter R. Wilder image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Walter R. Wilder
Its location at the head of Puget Sound with the combination of water and mountains in every direction make it distinctive beyond most capitol cities, and what is true of the city is particularly true of the site elected for the capitol buildings themselves.

W.R. Wilder,
Pacific Coast Architect,
January 1913, Vol. 4 page 154
 
Location. 47° 2.247′ N, 122° 54.241′ W. Marker is in Olympia, Washington, in Thurston County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 12th Avenue SW / Water Street SW and Cherry Lane SW, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located along the Heritage Park Trail walkway, near the trailhead on 12th Avenue SW. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 12th Avenue SW, Olympia WA 98501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First William Winlock Miller High School (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); POW AND MIA Monument (about 400 feet away); The Medal of Honor Monument (about 500 feet away); Marathon Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); John Rankin Rogers (approx. 0.4 miles away); Marking the End of the Oregon Trail 1844 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Washington Women Win the Vote (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lone Tree (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Olympia.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, framed composite plaque mounted horizontally on waist-high metal posts.
 
Regarding Washington's State Capitol Design.
Marker detail: Harry K. White image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Harry K. White
National Register of Historic Places (#79002564) (1979)
 
Also see . . .
1. The Washington State Capitol Building: A Tale of Two Designs. Two New York architects, Harry Wilder and Walter White, had laid out plans for the state capitol in 1911 and 1912 and Governor Ernest Lister came into office originally in 1913. As chair of the state capitol committee and as governor, Lister spent his first four years in office putting up funding and bureaucratic roadblocks to the development of the Wilder/White plan. Governor Lister had been suffering from heart and kidney disease since the summer of 1917, but finally gave over the reins of government to the Lieutenant Governor in early 1918. After Lister’s death, the state capitol commission eventually found its way back to the Wilder and White group. Ground was finally broken in 1922, and the legislative building opened in 1928. (Submitted on January 14, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Washington State Capitol & Earthquakes. Wilder and White's designs for the dome, weighing 26,000 metric tons, called for the dome to be fixed to its supporting structures by gravity instead of by any bolts or fasteners. During an earthquake, the dome could shift, along with the sandstone columns supporting it. The columns moved as much as three inches during the Nisqually earthquake of 2001. Renovations
Marker detail: 1911 Wilder and White design drawing image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Washington State Archives
4. Marker detail: 1911 Wilder and White design drawing
completed in 2004 fixed the dome permanently to the rest of the building. (Submitted on January 14, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. National Register of Historic Places Nomination (#79002564). (Submitted on January 14, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Categories. ArchitectureMan-Made FeaturesNotable Buildings
 
Washington's State Capitol Design Marker (<i>wide view; Washington Supreme Court in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 25, 2015
5. Washington's State Capitol Design Marker (wide view; Washington Supreme Court in background)
Washington State Capitol image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 25, 2015
6. Washington State Capitol
 

More. Search the internet for Washington's State Capitol Design.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 14, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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