“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

California State Capitol Park

California State Capitol Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 3, 2019
1. California State Capitol Park Marker
When Spanish governors ruled the California territory, its capital was moved from town to town between San Diego and Monterey.

San Jose had already been designated the capital by the time California was granted statehood in 1850. In the next four years, Vallejo and Benicia took turns at that honor. In 1854 Sacramento became the home of the legislature.

Though several cities were vying to become the permanent capital, Sacramento's claim was made secure in 1860 when the legislature accepted an offer of four city blocks for the Capitol site.

By the years end, ground had been broken for a magnificent Capitol building, 320 ft. long, 164 ft. wide and 120 ft. high. Designed by architect M.E. Butler, the building was in the popular classic revival style that reflected the young nation's idealistic admiration of Greek democracy and Roman republicanism.

In 1869 the new Capitol was ready for the legislature's first meeting, although construction continued until 1874. Throughout the years, the interior was often remodeled to meet the legislators’ needs for even more space. At last the structure could no longer
California State Capitol Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 3, 2019
2. California State Capitol Park Marker
The marker can be seen towards the left in this view, looking to the east across the California State Capitol Park.
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accommodate the lawmakers of the rapidly growing state. Between 1948 and 1951, the East Wing was added to house the governor's suite and other legislative offices, and the original building became known as the “Old Capitol.”

“An edifice should be constructed…satisfactory of the grandeur of the coming time…surrounded by grounds…with a beauty and luxuriousness that no other capital can boast.”
Governor Leland Stanford, 1863

The Capitol Restoration
The architects of the Capitol designed an interior in harmony with its exterior. Both the Roman-Corinthian facade and the Renaissance-Revival chambers were intended to remind legislators and visitors of the lofty political ideals of earlier centuries.

In 1906, the interior underwent its first remodeling, approved by legislators desperate for space and more concerned with function than symbolism. By the 1930s, after successive remodeling projects, the Capitol interior had become a hive of small undistinguished offices.

Then in 1972 the Old Capitol was found structurally unsafe and, rather than approve construction of a new structure, legislators voted for a complete restoration. Between 1976 and 1982, the Capitol was rebuilt from the walls in. For six years researchers, architects, artisans, and skilled workers rehabilitated the exterior and reconstructed the interior
California State Capitol Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 3, 2019
3. California State Capitol Park Marker
This view towards the south shows the reverse of the marker on the eastern side of the capitol, to the right in this view.
as it had been between 1900 and 1910. Painstakingly they revived old crafts of mural painting, plaster decoration, mosaic tile setting, and metal work.

In addition to restored legislative chambers and offices, the project produced an exhibit documenting Capitol history and a 9-room museum where visitors can view executive offices as they appeared around the turn of the century.

Two free tours, one of the historic offices and one of the Capitol building, are available every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Capitol Park
Capitol Park is considered one of the most beautiful state capitol grounds in the nation. Covering 40 acres, it contains species of plant life from nearly every part of the globe.

Park beautification began in 1869. During the following years, the land was graded and enriched with silt from the Sacramento River. Eight hundred trees and flowering shrubs were planted, representing over two hundred native and exotic varieties. The park was laid out in typical Victorian style, with long lanes leading between beds of vivid annuals. Over time the face of the park has been changed by both historic events and horticultural inspiration. Thus, the Civil War left its imprint in the peaceful Memorial Grove where saplings were transplanted from different battle sites, and the enthusiasm of California schoolchildren produced
The California State Capitol image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 3, 2019
4. The California State Capitol
This view is of the northern side of the capitol.
the section containing the cactus garden.

The names of many plants had been forgotten by 1905 when horticulturalists began the task of identifying and labeling the varieties, thereby establishing a practice which continues today. These labels provide information about the more than 450 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers that thrive in Sacramento's rich soil and warm climate.

Tickets for free park tours are offered from Mother's Day to Labor Day and may be obtained in the tour office of the State Capitol Museum.

Nearby attractions:
The California Almond Growers Visitor Center offers tours and information about the almond industry.
17th & C Sts.

Historic documents of California may be viewed weekdays at the California State Archives. 1020 “O” St., between 10th & 12th Sts.

The California State Capitol Museum includes seven historic rooms, a theater and exhibits. Located in the State Capitol Building, Capitol Mall & 10th St.

The unique California State Railroad Museum has more than 21 restored locomotives and cars on display among its historical exhibits. 125 I St.

The Chinese Center features shops, restaurants, and a Buddhist church.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau provides suggestions for sightseeing, 1311 I Street.

At the Crocker Art Museum, the exhibits range from centuries-old European
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paintings to contemporary photographs. 216 O St.

The public’s welcome to tour the Historic Governor's Mansion, 16th & H Sts.

The B. E. Hastings Building houses thee small California history museums, 2nd & J Sts.

The Stanford Mansion exterior gives visitors a glimpse of how the great railroad magnates once lived. 800 N St.

Old Sacramento's cobblestone streets lead back into the nineteenth century, Front & 2nd between L & I Sts.

The Sacramento History Center covers the history of the Sacramento Valley. Front & I Sts.

The Sacramento Zoo contains over 800 rare animals in their natural habitats. William Land Park, Sutterville Rd. and Land Park Drive.

Sutter’s Fort and the State Indian Museum bring to life the history of the California territory and preserve the culture of the first Americans. 2701 L St.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureGovernment & PoliticsParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 38° 34.578′ N, 121° 29.532′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker can be reached from L Street south of 12th Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sacramento CA 95814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
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. USS California Bell Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Kenneth L. Maddy (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Symbol Yields To Time (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Starr King (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty Bell Replica (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War Memorial Grove (within shouting distance of this marker); Sisters of Mercy (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.

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May. 27, 2022