Pierre, the capital of South Dakota is a small town. It did not seem very busy for a Saturday afternoon. We were able to park and walk a few blocks to the Capitol building. According to legend, 66 Italian artists were hired to lay terrazo tile flooring throughout the building. They were not able to each personally sign their work, but each was given a blue tile to place where ever they wanted. As we toured the Capitol we searched the floor for these special blue tiles.
On the first floor there is a display of the First Lady Gown Collection. Each case has a replica of the gown worn to the Inaugural Ball by the First Lady. Caroline enjoyed this display.
Greek, Roman, and Celtic architecture are the primary designs used in the Capitol. Victorian leaded stained glass amkes up the inside of the dome. The outside of the dome is covered in copper which has a dark petina. Pasque flowers, the state flower, are featured on the inside. Four large bronze statues represent wisdom, vision, courage and integrity.
The grand staircase is constructed of Vermont “whitecloud” marble. The vault over the grand staircase is Victorian leaded stained glass and the painting at the end of the vault is entitled “The Advent of Commerce.” It represents the first trading of the Native Americans and the white settlers.
The House of Representatives is decorated in earth tones with ornate wood decore with brass light fixtures. The plaster ceiling is stenciled. There is a mural by Charles Halloway called “The Peace That Passes Understanding.”
The Senate is decorated in green tones with Vermont marble and cherry wood and African Mahogany. The light fixtures are 750 pounds of solid brass. “The Louisiana Purchase” by Charles Halloway is displayed near the ceiling.
After touring the Capitol we decided to spend the night in Pierre. We found Griffin Park which is run by the town. It was $16 for electric hookup.