Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 185 - State Capitols

In addition to Congress, there are fifty state capitols in the USA.  The right thing to do is to visit your own.  If you live in a state and have not been in your capitol building, I urge you to go next week if not this week.  Your tax dollars paid and continue to pay for that building where the people who were elected work for you.  I had been to my Pennsylvania State Capitol when I was sixteen years ago, approximately thirty years ago and remembered it as being quite spectacular.  Since my mother only lives forty miles away, I decided to go again.  It is one of the most spectacular capitols in the United States.  I don't say that because it was "my" capitol but due to the fact that it was the in the state that had the original capitol, Philadelphia, it is older and has a steep tradition.

There are tours given every half hour and if you want to do it on your own, you may also.  What I found intriguing about the Harrisburg location were: 1) they had the original flags of the Union Regiments of the Civil War encased on each side of the marble staircase 2) there are 387 tile mosaics that represent the nature, animals and industry in PA and 3) The dome is a modern marvel in and of itself.  The flags are tattered and torn but over one hundred years later, they are still "present."  The stories of these flags live in those cases never to tell the horrors of what they witnessed in the largest loss of American life in our history on our own soil.  The marble staircase is modeled after the Opera House in Paris, France, flanked by two angels holding crystal balls above their heads.  The tile mosaics were done by hand and can be best appreciated by photographing and then looking at them.  It amazed me that the employees just walked on them without realizing their beauty as it was their every day environment.  The dome is modeled after Michael Angelos St. Peters Basilica of Rome in Italy.  It ways 52 million pounds and is 272 feet.  The 24 karat gold that covers the fixtures of the dome is priceless.

The inside of the dome with the Angel in the foreground

A mosaic of a dragonfly

The rotunda Staircase made of white marble
What I MOST was impressed by was not all of the architecture though was the simplicity of the words engraved into the granite that came from the mountains.  How fitting as the words are as strong as the stone that is carved in.  If only we could remember them during our elections and debates...as they should be engraved just as permanently in our brains when we make our choices to represent us...the people..

A Mosaic of factories and homes together
I leave you with some of these quotes.

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. ~Benjamin Franklin 

 

 A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it ~ William Penn


O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand. ~ William Penn 

 

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
~Thomas Paine

 

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