On a cold snowy day we drove from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, the Capitol of New Mexico. The Capitol building is unique in several ways. The current Capitol is one of the newest in the United States. It was designed by W. C. Kruger and dedicated on December 8, 1966. It is New Mexico Territorial style, which is an adaptation of Greek revival and Pueblo adobe architecture. The building is constructed in the form the Zia sun symbol. This symbol is closely associated with The Land of Enchantment. It represents a circular sun with rays extending in four directions. To the Zia people, four is an important number. It represents the four directions of the earth, four seasons of the year, the four times of day (sunrise, noon, evening and night) and the four divisions of life (childhood, youth, adulthood and old age.) Everything is bound together in a circle of life. The Zia people believe that man has four sacred obligations: a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and a devotion to the welfare of his people. Really this what we hope to instill in our children today. It is amazing how we can apply what we learn about the past to our own lives.
On the state shield is a bald eagle (representing bravery, skill and strength.) The smaller Mexican eagle holds a snake in it’s beak and a cactus in its talons. It represents the myth in which the gods ordered the Aztecs to settle where the saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake. There motto is Crescit Eundo means “It grows as it goes.”
There are 70 members of the House of Representatives and 42 members of the Senate. The day we visited the Capitol, the session would begin the next day. Everyone was busy getting ready. Representatives are elected every two years and Senators are elected every four. They receive no salary for their service, just a per diam and mielage allowance for attending.
The Capitol was decorated with the Capitol Art Collection. We really enjoyed looking at the wide range of media and styles. The artists live and work in New Mexico. Caroline’s favorite was a bison created by Holly Hughes. It was made of many recycled objects such as paint brushes, a fishing real, a gas lantern, film and newspapers just to name a few.
Marcus enjoyed a landscape by Gary Morton which showed a cowboy overlooking a canyon.