The Capitol of Kentucky: A Brief Introduction
Kentucky was the first territory to be organized west of the Appalachian Mountains. Historically the region had been home to several Native American tribes, including ancestors of the Sioux, followed by invasion by Iroquois, and pockets of Shawnee. After initial exploratory trips by white settlers in the late 1600s, more extensive colonizing missions were undertaken in the middle of the 1700s. Much of this interest was related to the territorial gains won during the French and Indian War from 1755 to 1763, which resulted in the elimination of France as a political and military force in Mississippi Valley. After the war, many settlers ventured into the region now known as Kentucky, despite a proclamation from King George III forbidding settlement west of the Appalachian highlands. Among the early adventurers was Daniel Boone, who made several trips to the Kentucky region in the 1760s and 1770s.
Numerous speculative land companies promoted settlement of Kentucky. The colonies of North Carolina and Virginia were rivals for the territory of Kentucky, with Virginia based land companies eventually securing the region. Following the American Revolution, settlers in Kentucky began to consider separate statehood under the Articles of Confederation. After 10 conventions met to consider the question, a proposed state constitution was ratified in Danville in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky was admitted as the thirteenth state to the newly formed Union under the United States Constitution.(1)
Inauguration of state officers, including General Isaac Shelby as governor, took place in Lexington on June 4, 1792. Five commissioners were selected to choose a suitable location for a permanent capital. In several meetings held between August 6 and December 5, 1792, the commissioners selected Frankfort over Leestown, Lexington, Petersburg, and Louisville. In exchange for donating the land to build a capitol building, the state government entered into a contract with the town of Frankfort to “fix the Seat of Government” there, unless moved by a two-thirds majority wit the legislature.
Frankfort is centrally located in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, where the Kentucky River forms an “S” caused by the shifting of the drainage channel. The site of Frankfort was first surveyed by adventurers in 1773, when Hancock Taylor claimed the land on behalf of Robert McAfee of Virginia. This claim was not properly recorded, and after a legal battle among subsequent claimants the town was organized by General James Wilkinson of Virginia in 1786. The name “Frankfort” was chosen by Wilkinson to honor the memory of an early pioneer to the region with the surname Frank. “Frankfort” evolved out of “Frank’s Ford,” the name popularly given to a ford in the location of the town.(2)
The first Capitol building was constructed in 1793-1794 on the Public Square, the site of all subsequent Capitol buildings until the New Capitol of 1905-1910. This first Capitol, a rough-hewn stone building three stories in height, was destroyed by fire in 1813. The second Capitol was constructed in 1814-1816 on the same site. This two-story brick building also burned, in 1824. In 1827, an elegant new Capitol building, later known as the Old Capitol, was designed by Gideon Shryock (1802-1880) in the fashionable Greek Revival style. Shryock traced his architectural lineage for Benjamin Latrobe and William Strickland, two of the earliest and most significant architects in the United States. Other important buildings by Shryock were the Jefferson County Courthouse in Louisville and Morrison Hall at Transylvania College in Lexington, and the Old State Capitol at Little Rock, Arkansas.(3)
The coming of the Civil War had detrimental effects on the state’s development. The state was the sixth most populous in the Union, but one-fourth of its population were slaves. Kentucky followed the path of other “border states.” Family members fought in opposite sides of the war, despite or perhaps because of the states neutrality.
In 1862, Confederate forces led by Braxton Bragg invaded Frankfort and set up a Confederate State Government. The occupation was short-lived, as Union forces soon retook the city. On the future site of the New Capitol building, a tragic event occurred on November 2, 1864. Four Confederate prisoners of war, all Kentuckians, were executed on reprisal for the murder of a Union supporter.
The Need for a New Capitol Building: 1865 to 1900
In 1869, the government of the state determined that the 1827 Capitol building was inadequate to meet its needs. The legislature appropriated $100,000 to begin the construction of a new building designed by Bradshaw, Vodges, and Company. This budget amount along with later appropriations allowed a new east wing to be constructed. However, no further appropriations were made due to the economic conditions in the state and the continued fight between Lexington and Louisville for Kentucky’s state capital. The lower South had been Kentucky’s best market for agricultural goods before the war, and industry, confined to larger cities like Louisville, was limited in comparison to the northern states.
Kentucky has more counties that any other state except for Georgia and Texas. Counties were divided and subdivided, often in order to name the county for a particular politician whose favor was desired. Eventually, Kentucky would have 120 counties. This led to factionalism, complicated by the rise of political organizations in Louisville and other cities. In 1891, the fourth state constitution permanently settled the question of the location of the state capital. However, this document, written in an atmosphere of distrust and contempt, defined and limited government rather than guided it.
The tragic episode surrounding the 1899 election for governor shows the intensity of political feuds at the time. The state’s first Republican Governor was elected in 1895 due to a dispute that divided the normally dominant Democratic Party. In 1897, the General Assembly passed the Goebel Election Law, setting up the Board of Election Commissioner to oversee elections and decide disputes. Named for the bill’s sponsor, William Goebel, the Board was to have three members, almost guaranteeing an unfair advantage to one political party or the other. When Goebel ran for Governor in 1899, factional divisions again divided the Democrats and a Republican was elected Governor, but by a very narrow margin. The Board of Election Commissioners ruled in favor of Republican candidate W.S. Taylor, but passed ultimate authority over the election over to the General Assembly. During legislative committee hearings on the matter, William Goebel was shot outside the Old Capitol. He died four days later, although in the meantime the heavily Democratic General Assembly had voted in Goebel’s favor, naming him the victor in the gubernatorial election.(4)
It was in the years following this scandal that the decision was made to construct a new capitol building.
Construction of the New Capitol Building: 1900 to 1910
Funding and Selection of an Architect
Besides being overcrowded, the Old Capitol(5) was reported to be in deteriorated condition, “making it possible that at any time the massive pillars many come crashing down on the heads of the passers-by.”(6) It was also stated that the floors of the legislative chambers were inadequate to support the loads imposed on it, recalling an event at the state house in Richmond, Virginia, when a portion of the floor collapsed and many were killed. Heating for the building was still by means of fireplace, increasing the risk of fire. Adjacent buildings, including the east wing of 1869 and the dilapidated brick annex, were also overcrowded. During the legislative session, the state assembly members would meet in any available space, including taverns.
In 1904, Kentucky was the recipient of $1,000,000 from the federal government for damages sustained during the Civil War and for services provided in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The legislature of 1904 voted to appropriate the $1,000,000 for the construction of a new Capitol building. A Board of State Capitol Commissioners was appointed from the members of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, a body set up in 1836 to provide the prompt payment of debts and loans. (After completion of the New Capitol, the body reverted to the name “Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners.”) The boards first met on March 19, 1904.
Because the board lacked sufficient experience in the construction of large scale projects, one of their first activities was to appoint a Superintendent of Construction. At their meeting of April 7, 1904, the board appointed C.M. Fleenor of Bowling Green to be Superintendent of Construction of the State Capitol Building. Fleenor was selected out of a field of five candidates. Selection of an architect soon followed with the award of the commission to design the new building to Frank Mills Andrews, then practicing in Dayton, Ohio. Andrews had been the architect of the recently complete Montana State Capitol.
Creed Morgan Fleenor (1860-1925) was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After attending Ogden College (now Western Kentucky University), Fleenor practiced architecture from the 1880s until 1920. He designed several buildings in Bowling Green and Warren County, Kentucky, including the First Baptist Church, Pushin Building, Fitzpatrick Building, Kirby Building, and the Carrie Taylor House.(7) Fleenor also published a book of poetry.(8)
At the April 7, 1904 meeting of the board, several architects were interviewed, including Kentucky architects Henry Wolters(9) of Louisville; A. Wegner of Lexington, representing Copeland and Dole of New York; C.J. Clarke of Clarke and Loomis(10) of Louisville; Kenneth McDonald(11) of McDonald and Shoblessy of Louisville; B.B. Davies of Louisville; and L.L. Oberwarth(12) of Frankfort. Architects from outside Kentucky include J.R. Gieske of Ceredo, West Virginia; George R. Mann(13) of Little Rock, Arkansas; Lehman and Schmitt of Cleveland, Ohio; and Frank P. Milburn of Columbia, South Carolina.(14)
Meeting on May 17, 1904, the board considered general space needs. Three days later the board heard presentations from Henry Wolters, L.B. Weathers of Memphis, Tennessee, and Frank Mills Andrews of Dayton, Ohio. Andrews was the architect of the recently completed Montana State Capitol. The May 24 meeting included presentations from Theodore C. Link(15) of St.Louis, Missouri; Copeland and Dole of New York; Bruce Architectural Company of Birmingham, Alabama; and Donald Jacobs of Louisville. A presentation was made at the May 26 meeting by George R. Mann, who had designed the Arkansas State Capitol. On May 27, several more presentations were made by the remaining firms, including an initial interview and presentation by representatives of the firm of Cass Gilbert(16) of New York. On June 10, 1904, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners selected Frank Mills Andrews on the fifth ballot.(17)
Frank Mills Andres was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1867. He graduated from Iowa State College and studied architecture at Cornell University in New York. After his graduation in 1888, he worked first in Ithica, New York for William H. Miller; in New York City, for George B. Post; and in Chicago, for Jenney & Mundie. Andrews also spent time traveling in Europe in the late 1880s or early 1890s. In a paper published in the British Journal of the Royal Society of Arts in 1911, Andrews wrote of the development of American architecture, stressing the influence of the Beaux Arts classical style predominant at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which occurred during his with Jenney & Mundie in Chicago:
Undoubtedly the greatest, if not the primary, stimulus of the present artistic development of the United States is to be found in the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. It was here that the profession for the first time found itself in possession of a theme monumental in its scope and dignity…[the] initial moment in our art history that required the united action of a group of properly trained men, it was the first time when they had to deal with a problem in which architecture was the dominant note: recognized as the visible and vitally- important expression of the dignity and scope of the enterprise. The interest of a great public was to be aroused, and a situation of charm and beauty was to be created as a functional part of the display itself, and for this purpose the business men in charge perceived that good architecture was indeed a practical necessity…For the first time on American soil there was to be produced in orderly triumph the majestic splendor of ancient Rome, of Italy, of the dreams of France…(18)
Andrews also credits the Fair as establishing architecture as a profession with distinct public and social standing. Andrews was adherent of the Beaux Arts and Italian and French Renaissance revival styles typified by the work of McKim, Mead, and White and Richard Morris Hunt.
Andrews opened a practice in Dayton, Ohio, in 1894. His largest client at the time was the National Cash Register Company, who provided the young architect with work despite a national business depression. Besides the plant for the National Cash Register Company, Andrews was architect for the Arcade Building, American Building, and Dye Building. Andrews also designed large residential structures in Dayton(19) and the Lagonda Club in Springfield, Ohio. He was also architect of the Montana State Capitol, completed in 1902. That building shares with the Kentucky State capitol some basic features including severely rectilinear architectural massing, projecting bays at the ends of wings, and a dominant attic story without fenestration.
F.M. Andrews & Company moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1905, and opened a branch office in New York City the following year. Andrews is credited with collaborating in the development of several hotel chains.(20) He designed the Hotel McAlpin,(21) and the George Washington Hotel in New York; the Hotel Taft in New Haven, Connecticut; and the Hotel Sinclair in Cincinnati. In 1912, Andrews was one of the founders of the Equitable building corporation in New York City, but retired the following year due to ill health; the firm of F.M. Andrews & Company folded at the same time. Andrews emigrated to England in 1913, remaining until 1918. He spent the 1920s in highway construction in Ohio. Andrews resumed his architectural career in the 1930s. Frank M. Andrews died in Brooklyn, New York, on September 3, 1948.(22)
Selection of a Site
Initially, the New Capitol was to be erected on the site of the Old Capitol after its demolition. Andrews submitted sketches to the board on November 10, 1904.(23) The proposals from architect Frank Mills Andrews called for a building too large for the site. Demolition of the Old Capitol would have also meant the state government had nowhere to function. The site of the existing Capitol was also thought inappropriate due to the recent fire that had occurred in a nearby flour mill and grain elevator- it was feared that nay future conflagrations might spread to the new building. Therefore, other sites were proposed. However, the initial $1,000,000 appropriation required that the new building be built on the site of the 1827 Capitol. Once this restriction was lifted, alternates could be considered. A special legislative session in January 1905 appropriated $40,000 for the purchase of land for the new building.
There were four possible sites considered in Frankfort.(24) The first was the site of the State Arsenal on a bluff overlooking the Kentucky River. This site was criticized in that, although large enough for the proposed building, it was feared that erosion of the site may undermine the foundations in the future. The grounds of the “Feeble-Minded Institute” were considered, but transference of that institution to a new site would need to be included in the cost of the new building. The third site, the Rodman property, was not seriously considered. The most favored site was the Hunt property, located at the southern end of South Frankfort. The “Hunt Place” was selected at meetings in March and April 1904.(25)
South Frankfort is nearly as old as the rest of the town. A plat of survey from 1805 shows much of this area laid out, including Todd Street north of the Capitol grounds.(26) The Hunt property was, and the New Capitol is now, located south of the area platted in 1805. It is a raised acreage of land at the base of the hillside enclosing South Frankfort.
Drawings issued initially were for the excavation of the site, released for bidding on May 9, 1905. Bids were received on May 25, 1905, with a low bid of $1,980 from Balke & Zehnder of Louisville. Change orders to this contract were later issued for removal of rock. This contract was later transferred to the general contractor. Next, drawings for the basic shell of the building and the preliminary finish requirements were issued July 5, 1905. Associates of Andrews who were involved in the design and construction of the Kentucky State Capitol included H.E. Kennedy and George E. Matthews. Additional drawings were issued later with supplemental information or revisions to the original design during construction.(27)
Bidders on the project were located in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus and Anderson, Indiana; Chicago; New York City; Baltimore; Richmond, Virginia; and Philadelphia. When the bid documents were let, several alternates were included, the most significant being the exterior stone cladding. In addition to Bedford limestone (which was selected), bid alternates were requested for Bowling Green stone, Rockcastle stone, Blue Ridge marble, Kentucky Freestone, Berea Sandstone, and Georgia marble. Bids were opened on August 7, 1905. Bedford stone yielded the lowest cost bid ($880,000 from the General Supply and Construction Company) with a high bid of $1,675,000, using Tennessee marble.(28)
Package pricing from subcontractors were also requested on the bid form, included excavation ($5,500 for the sole bidder Balke & Zender); concrete work ( $75,550 from the sole bidder, J.B. Ohligschlager); structural steel (low bid of $34,500); brick masonry ($121,350); “armored” concrete ($45,616); cut stone with bids broken into numerous combinations of stone types; plumbing ($11, 689.00); sheet metal and roofing ($30,221); carpentry ($59,750); and tile work ($6,500). Interior finish package prices included plaster and ornamental plaster ($40,545 and $1,250 respectively); scagliola ($7,500); and painting ($4,687). Totaling of all the low bids equaled $938,740. The General Supply and Construction Company of New York City was selected with their total bid of $904,000, using Bedford limestone as the exterior cladding.(29) The contract called for a 24-month construction schedule. Extensions were made to this schedule as items were added to the contract.(30)
It was reported that officers of the General Supply & Construction Company were all “young men” ready for the challenges that awaited them.(31) Founded in 1902, they had already built or participated in the construction of numerous large scale buildings, including structures at the United States Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C., the Singer Building, New York, the First National Bank Building, Houston, Texas; and the Royal Bank of Canada, Havana, Cuba. The contracting firm had participated in the construction of 63 buildings in three years.
Exterior stone was to come from the Dugan Cut Stone Company of Bedford, Indiana. The particular quarry for the Capitol’s stone was the Hoosier Quarry.(32) Mechanical and electrical work, not included in the bids described above, was being prepared by Joseph McWilliams & Company, Engineers and Contractors, of Louisville. The power plant for the Capitol was to be located in a separate building, with connection through a concrete tunnel.
General site clearing, with Governor Beckham turning the first spadeful of earth, began on either May 30, 1905.(33)
The Board concluded to have some simple ceremonies on the grounds when the work begun [sic] and fixed the hour at five o’clock to meet the contractor and any citizens of Frankfort desiring to be present. Promptly at five o’clock the first shovel of dirt was thrown by Governor J.C.W. Beckham.(34)
Official groundbreaking for the New Capitol was on August 14, 1905, four days after the contract was officially let to the General Supply & Construction Company.
With the opening of the 1906 legislative session, additional funding was sought to finish the interior of the building. The legislature appropriated $250,000 for this work. This appropriation also allowed for the installation of an allegorical sculpture group in the pediment above the main entrance. Charles Henry Niehaus was selected as sculptor(35) of this group on the recommendation of architect Andrews.(36)
Early on in the construction process, the cladding for the dome was discussed. The original construction documents called for a sheet metal clad dome, but a change order was developed to use terra cotta cladding instead. Discussion at this time centered on the use of stone for the dome cladding. It was reported that “the members of the commission, Architect Andrews , and the contractors, the General Supply and Construction Company, unite in the opinion that the beauty and service of the building will be greatly increased by the substitution of a stone dome for the proposed dome of steel.”(37) Besides the improved aesthetic appearance, it was thought that a stone clad dome would require less maintenance than one clad in sheet metal.
Various substitutions and change orders from the construction process are documented. On February 27, 1906, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners authorized in Order Slip #9 the substitution of Honduras mahogany of select stock for Tobasco mahogany.(38) The use of concrete in lieu of brick for the dome piers, with a specified mix of one part Portland cement, three parts sand, and six parts crushed stone, was allowed in Order Slip # 58.(39) A change order totaling $2,703.80 (including 10% profit) was approved for granite at the main entrance, entrance vestibule, and east and west entrances. This change order (#59) refers to revised architectural drawings 56, 124, and 150, which revised the plan of the entrance to have three openings instead of the five, as well as to curve the side walls of the vestibule.(40)
Laying of the Cornerstone
On June 16, 1906, the cornerstone of the New Capitol was laid. The ceremony began with a procession from the Old Capitol, through Frankfort, across the Kentucky River, and up Capitol Avenue to the building site. Included in the program were addresses by H.V. McChesney and William Lindsay, laying of the cornerstone with another address by Governor J.C.W. Beckham, and placing of items in the cornerstone by Frankfort mayor E.E. Hume. And estimated 20,000 people were present.
A historic photograph of the event shows the throng of onlookers gathered at an opening in the building wall in the approximate location of the main entrance portico. The crowd appears to be looking in the south direction of the interior of the building, possibly at the location of the rotunda piers. The specific location of the cornerstone is not known, but the interior of the building has a bronze plaque on the northwest rotunda pier commemorating the laying of the cornerstone on June 16, 1906. It is possible that the cornerstone is located in one of the rotunda piers, given that the photograph shows that the crowd was not looking at the front of the building and that the rotunda piers are now covered with marble veneer in the area of the bronze plaque and other interior finishes below.(41)
Progress of Construction
Further modifications to the original design documents include substitution of marble for Bedford stone in the corridors, as shown on revised architectural drawings 71,72,73,74, 77, and 79, dated April 21, 1906. This item resulted in a deduction of $75,000 from the construction contract.(42) Another significant substitution was the use of terra cotta for the originally specified copper sheet metal for the dome cladding. Shown on revised drawing 84, the substitution resulted in another $4,600 deducted from the construction contract.(43) (Extant drawings for the dome call for the terra cotta to be laid on a 3 inch thick cinder concrete shell supported by steel trusses.)
The planned use of Georgia marble for the 36 monolithic columns in the east and west nave spaces had to be revised when the quarries in Georgia were unable to lathe a column the size specified. Vermont granite was substituted, although only three lathes were available, with each column taking between 12 to 14 days to produce. In October 1906 a contract was initiated to produce the required 36 columns in granite. Delays at the quarry prevented the last two columns from arriving until August 1907. These columns were damaged and replacement did not arrive until November. Even these replacements arrived in a damaged condition, although they were later accepted.(44)
Further changes to the main entrance are contained in Order Slip #93, where modifications shown on drawings 66 and 69 (which are not described in the order) resulted in $1,147.65 added to the construction contract.(45) Order slip #194 calls for “additional granite work filling in blind spaces back of buttresses flanking the main entrance” for additional $100.(46)
By October 1906, approximately 35 percent of the contract amount had been billed by the General Supply & Construction Company. This included excavation work, concrete foundations, brick for backup walls, granite and limestone cladding, structural steel, and clay tile and concrete floors. By February 1907, approximately 50 percent of the contract had been billed.(47)
The State Reception Room design was revised to include a false door to the north of the fireplace mantle on the west wall, to mirror the door to the south of the mantle that was to lead to the stenographer’s office in the Governor’s Office. This work was implemented for $45 added to the construction contract.(48) Plaster cornices approved for rooms 207, 216, and 229 for $723.50. Pink Tennessee marble substituted for the toilet rooms because of supply problems with the specific McMullen’s Gray Tennessee marble.(50) Regular mortise types of cylinder locks from the Russell & Erwin Manufacturing company, using that company’s “Beaumont” design, were approved for corridor doors for an additional $828.72 to their contract. Locks were to be master keyed with a separated master key for each floor.(51)
Construction progress in early October 1907 included completion of the shell of the four floors of the building and the drum of the dome under way. Approximately 85 percent of the construction contract had been billed.(52)
Several mechanical and electrical changes were ordered. Among them, location changes for ventilation outlets in the Court of Appeals west wall were approved in two orders for $55 and $75.(53) Electrical and telephone line changes were approved in Order Slips #635 and #636. In #635, extra conduit for $161was approved for the “Excello Flaming Arc Lamps” to be installed in the lantern of the dome. Conduit for telephone connections were approved for rooms 128, 129, 144, 146, and 151 for an additional $90.(54)
In 1908, work on the Capitol was nearing completion except for interior finished and mechanical and electrical work. With the change in executive administration, the members of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners also changed, although C.M. Fleenor was retained. The legislature of 1908 appropriated and additional $460,000 for the completion of the building. On January 15, 1908, the new Board of State Capitol Commissioners accepted the last two granite columns for the east and west wings despite some damage present upon delivery. The contractor agreed to reduce his contract amount by $1,035.50.(55) A proposal was accepted for the contractor to supply and install a steel track for the “electrician’s car” to replace electric lamps in the dome, with an additional amount of $340.35.(56) Birch was allowed as a substitute for oak for the stairway handrails above the first floor level.(57) The wood floors of several rooms were to have three coats of “Nomar” floor varnish, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Reception Room, the Senate and House of Reception Rooms, and the Speaker’s Reception and Private Rooms. The oak floors of the Governor’s Reception Room and Library were to be filled with a paste filler and finished with two coats of “Nomar” varnish.(58)
In April 17, 1908, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners considered and approved drawings from the architect substituting Tennessee marble with Verde Antique marble borders for the flooring on the second and third levels. Bedford limestone had been specified originally.(59) Except for the corridors and more significant office spaces, much of the rest of the Capitol building had painted concrete floors.(60) The board approved a proposal from G. Duncan Cox of New Jersey to lay the new marble floor for $23,624.00. However, when Ralph P. Taylor, president of the General Supply & Construction Company, visited the site on May 8, he stated that he would perform the work using G. Duncan Cox as his subcontractor, for a total cost of $22,000.00.(61)
Further discussion on the interior furnishings and decoration at the Capitol followed at the Board of State Capitol Commissioners meeting of June 13, 1908. It was decided to send a representative of the board to the new Capitol building completed in St. Paul, Minnesota, to determine the proper furnishings and decorating for the Kentucky State Capitol. During the following month the board requested that a panel be assembled from representatives of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of Kentucky for the purpose of advising the board with respect to the Capitol’s interior decoration.(62)
With the Capitol nearly enclosed, construction of the power house was about to begin. This structure, also designed by F.M. Andrews, was to be placed at the foot of the bluff overlooking the Kentucky River, immediately east of the Capitol building. The Board of the State Capitol Commissioners asked a Professor Anderson of the University of Kentucky to review the plans and specifications of the power house. One of their concerns was whether the plans were “drawn to exclude any legitimate competition.”(63)
Development on the site was being planned as well, with the engagement of a surveyor to produce a topographical survey at the rate of $6 per acre. The survey had been requested by Olmstead Brothers, selected to develop the landscape design for the Capitol grounds.(64)
John Charles Olmsted and Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr., were the step-son and son of Fredrick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), renowned park and landscape designer. In 1895 due to failing heath, Olmsted Sr. turned the firm over to his step-son and son. John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920) graduated from Yale in 1875 and went to work for his step-father (who was also his uncle). J.C. Olmsted took over the landscape architecture firm located in Brookline, Massachusetts, with Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870-1957), upon the retirement of Olmsted Sr. to form Olmsted Brothers. F.L. Olmsted, Jr., graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1894 and joined the Olmsted office. J.C. Olmsted designed Franklin Park, the Arnold Arboretum, and the Riverway in Boston, and was the first president of the American Society of Landscape Architects. F.L. Olmsted, Jr., participated in the McMillan Commission that led to the revival of the L’Enfant plan of Washington D.C., and was a member of the National Commission on Fine Arts. He also produced the State Park Study of 1929 in California. In 1900 he organized the first university curriculum in landscape architecture at Harvard.(65) Also participating in the design of the New Capitol grounds was James Dawson of Olmsted Brothers.
John Charles Olmsted of Olmsted Brothers met with the board on August 3, 1908. Since Olmsted and Andrews had not resolved differences of opinion on the design of the grounds and approach, bids for limited landscaping work that had already been received were rejected until design issues were resolved.(66)
Despite the relative progress on the New Capitol, order slips and meeting minutes document problems with the construction schedule. In Order Slip #783 from November 1907, the contractor was paid $450 for temporary enclosures at wall openings on the building, although the windows should have been available for installation.(67) Order Slip #784 approved $3,777.03 to reimburse the contractor for concrete work included in the building’s foundations, which had been installed over two years before.(68) The change in administration in January 1908 had caused some delays on the part of the state because o the replacement f the State Capitol Commission board members. The following April 17, 1908, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners approved the action of C.M. Fleenor to demand the presence of Ralph P. Taylor, president of the General Supply & Construction Company at the site to expedite the progress of the work, which was beginning to fall seriously behind schedule.(69) The approval and subsequent reassignment of the contract with G. Duncan Cox to lay the marble floor may have also led to friction between the contractor and the board. By June 1908, $945,671.99 had been billed on the construction contract, which included the original $904,000 plus subsequent change orders. With the contractor having received most of the contract amount, less retainage totaling $100,724.50, the state had limited leverage to get the contractor to perform items promptly.(70)
Removal of the Construction Contractor
Schedule problems became more critical by the middle of July 1908. F.M. Andrews & Company contacted the General Supply & Construction Company by letter, stating the following:
… the completion [of the] Capitol Building is seriously delayed and much damage is caused by leaks in the dome of the building and after repeat notice the contractors have failed to take any steps to repair the damage in the dome or complete other work unfinished.
The Board [of State Capitol Commissioners] is advised under the contract of agreement with the contractor that after 3 days notice they are at liberty to provide labor and material to complete the unfinished work and repair the damage to the building and to deduct the cost from any money now due or hereafter become due to the contractors under agreement.(71)
The board in turn issued a letter to the General Supply & Construction Company and Federal Union Security, the contractor’s bonding company. The subcontractors on the project contacted the board through an attorney protesting any further payments to the General Supply & Construction Company and requesting that all future payments be distributed to the subcontractors. The board then moved to confer with the architect on the proper steps to take in this matter.(72)
The contractor’s personnel continued to perform work at the site at their previous pace. Materials placed in the interim failed to perform adequately to prevent leaks into the building. Inspection by the architect revealed poor quality materials and unskilled installation procedures were the cause of leaks in the dome and elsewhere. The contractor, in turn, tried to convince the architect that the board had rescinded an order to remove the contractor from the work and was allowing it to continue.(73) The board sent a telegram to the architect:
F.M. Andrews & Company
Waldorf Astoria, New York, New York
No order has been rescinded; come to Frankfort and take the work in charge, by order State Capitol Commission.
Signed by E.J. Johnson(74)
At the board meeting on August 19, 1908, a certificate was reviewed from F.M. Andrews & Company notifying the board that the contract with the General Supply & Construction Company had been “annulled for cause.” The board in turn forwarded a letter to the contractor outlining numerous items that had not been completed or not properly constructed, and that after three days further notice the contractor was by contract required to cease work and leave the project.
Completion of the New Capitol
In the days following the removal of the original contractor from the site, the board considered options for proceeding. The contractor’s bonding company was requested to respond to the matter, but in the end the board gave the Superintendent of Construction, C.M. Fleenor, responsibility for completion of the building in conjunction with the architects. Between August 21, 1908, the date that the General Supply & Construction Company was removed from the project, and January 9, 1909, Fleenor reported that $3,520.36 was expended, primarily to properly weatherproof the dome and roof the building.(75)
The board began to look at staffing the Capitol building, from hiring the night watchmen to chief maintenance personnel. The board authorized the State Treasurer to visit Jackson, Mississippi, to investigate the number, qualifications, and salary for full time personnel. Meanwhile, work on the power house was beginning under a construction contract with Joseph McWilliams & Company.
Development of the grounds plan continued, with Olmsted Brothers submitting drawings dated October 1908. Based on the topographic survey, the site planning included only one driveway entering the site from the north beginning at Todd Street, curving at the approximate location of the present State Street up to the west entrance. The approximate route of the driveway began at the rear of the building, with the flow of traffic continuing to connect with the end of Logan Street. It is also clear from these site plans that several plots of land on the north side of the site between Todd Street and the future State Street were dictating the configuration of the driveways.
Also missing from the 1908 site plans is the formal approach stairs to the main entrance, and only a temporary plank walk is called out instead. Outside of the single approach driveway and the path of the driveway through the site, the 1908 plan shows little development of the site. The topography is shown altered for the driveway path, but areas between the Capitol and Logan Street are shown unaltered. One landscaping concept set forth in these plans is a topographic plan of the south end of the site. The second drawing calls out a “hayfield” treatment to allow for a more natural form of landscaping between the rear elevation of the Capitol and the bluff to the south and west. The northwest corner of the site is also delineated to have “hayfield” treatment.
A contract was let to William F. Behrens & Company for the interior finishes of the State Reception Room at a cost of $2,525. A contract for interior finishes in the remainder of the Capitol was given to A. Schachne Company for $10,917.50.(76)
The board engaged T. Gilbert White to create murals in the lunettes at the end of each nave in January 1909. White showed the board two sketches for the proposed murals, each based on events of historical importance to Kentucky. White’s proposal was accepted at a fee of $7,000.(77) (White later created mural decorations at the McAlpin Hotel in New York, designed by F.M. Andrews & Company.)
Order slips at this time were issued with numbers beginning again with Order Slip No.1 for each separate subcontractor. Order Slip No.1 for the A. Schachne Company was for the substitution of heavy canvas for Buckrum specified for the Grand Staircase Hall, with a contract increase of $750. The canvas was then to be coated with three coats of oil paint.(78) Order Slip No.3 directed venetian blinds to be installed in the building for $2,554.40.(79) Finishing of the Court of Appeals ceiling was with Dutch Metallic Leaf, lacquer glaze, and finished with an antique metallic bronze effect. This finishing was to cover the entire ceiling from the cornice or crown molding, flat ceiling areas, and drop beams.(80)
In early 1909, a contract was approved for the Mitchell Vance Company of New York for lighting fixtures,(81) which were installed in several spaces in June and July 1909. Items listed for installation in June and July include the following(82)
William F. Beherns met with the board on August 11, 1909, to review the proposed designs and material samples for the State Reception Room. Beherns’ cost for furnishings, floor covering, and other moveable items was $6,855.50.(83)
The contract for terrace work surrounding the building was awarded to George Baker Long for $35,000 on December 7, 1908.(84)
Unassigned spaces in the building began to be allotted in early 1909. The State Historical Society was assigned to rooms 146 and 151 on the first floor at the east end of the building.(85)
The first state official to occupy the new building was Dr. Ben L. Bruner, Secretary of State, who moved into his offices on the second floor on July 26, 1909. By December 1, 1909, all of the major departments had moved into the building. In November 1909, the Louisville Herald published photographs of the New Capitol building, including the interior views of the House and Senate Chamber. The first legislative session in the New Capitol opened January 1910.(86)
South Frankfort expansion was planned in 1909 with the development of “Capitol Heights,” a suburban subdivision with 111 plots on the bluff to the south and west of the New Capitol. However, the plots failed to sell, and development would not occur until the 1920s.(87)
Drawings for the landscape plan by Olmsted Brothers for the Capitol are dated January 27, 1910. The plan shows State Street developed on the northern boundary of the site. Two driveways are present flanking the monumental approach steps. A comparison with historic photographs shows that this was the basic circulation on the western portion of the site. However, variations with the current site configurations are shown on the east side. The driveway is still shown connecting with Logan Street on the east side of the site, and a curved section of drive ends in what appears to be a lookout spot at the top of the bluff, located in the approximate location of the Governor’s Mansion built in 1912. Plantings are also shown on this site plan.
It was reported during this time that Frank Millet, classmate of Governor Willson at Harvard, was to visit the governor and to advise him on the matter of additional mural decorations for the new building.(88)
C.M. Fleenor stepped down as Superintendent at the end of March 1910, at which time he was commended by the Board of Capitol Commissioners.(89)
The Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners moved to purchase land along Todd Street at the north end of the Capitol grounds. A parcel was purchased from John C. Noel for $16,000. The board subsequently moved to construct the road (later named State Street) from Logan to Shelly Streets. Further site development included installation of “granitoid” concrete walks on the grounds for 55 cents per square yard.(90) During the 1904 legislative session, the legislature had appropriated $20,000 for the erection of a statue to assassinated Governor William Goebel. This statue, by Charles Henry Niehaus, was placed at the end of the avenue leading to the New Capitol.
At the meeting of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners on April 11, 1910, it was decided to set June 2 of that year as the formal dedication of the New Capitol building.
Beginning with the boom of cannons on Arsenal Hill at noon today, nearly 10,000 of the sons, daughters, and grandchildren of Kentucky gathered from all parts of the State, dedicated to the use of the old Commonwealth, a new Capitol.(91)
Beginning at 12 o’ clock on June 2, 1910, the formal dedication ceremony began at the New Capitol building. The new building was decorated with flags on the exterior and plants and flowers on the interior. The concrete paving from Todd Street had been completed. Among the dignitaries on the speaker’s stand were Governor and Mrs. Willson, Senator and Mrs. William O. Bradley, former governors of Kentucky, judges, generals, and congressmen. The keynote address was delivered by Senator Bradley. The invocation by Reverend Louis W. Burton, Bishop of Lexington, included the following statement, perhaps in reference to the Goebel assassination and the general atmosphere of dissent that led to that tragedy:
From political corruption and public graft; from violence, crime, and perversions of justice; from abuses of power and oppression of the poor and lowly; from a sordid materialism and selfish greed, and from all that can involve us as a State in dishonor and degeneracy; good Lord, deliver us.(92)
The final official costs of the New Capitol included $1,180,434.80 for the building; $63,793 for the grounds; $141,881 for furnishings, special finishes, and mural paintings; $45,188 for file cabinets and other office storage equipment; $90,000 for the power plant; $108,703.20 for heating, lighting, and electrical fixtures; and $190,000 for terraces and landscaping.(93) The architect’s final fees ($82,730) were counted in each of these items.(94)
A complete financial accounting on the project, including the following (Financial Statement, Kentucky State Capitol, prepared by C.M. Fleenor, Superintendent of Construction, n.d.):
Building: 1910 to 1935
Description of the New Capitol
Visitors to the building were met with a monumental structure very different from the elegant but smaller scaled Old Capitol, located on the edge of central Frankfort. Souvenir books from the time of the New Capitol’s opening colorfully describe the setting:(95)
Entering the grounds at Todd Street is an avenue 360 feet wide, with a beautiful grass plot in the center, while asphalt driveways and concrete walks run along each side. The grounds have been handsomely graded, slope away gracefully from the front of the building and sides of the approach, and in their summer dress of bluegrass are beautiful indeed.
Along the south side of State Street there extends a wall of rubble masonry, from Logan Street in the east, and Shelby Street on the west which ends upon reaching the avenue in a crescent shaped cut stone terminal, curving inward towards the driveways. Between the driveways springs a terrace, the front of which is covered by a flight of granite steps, laid in two flights of 4 and 12 steps respectively, at the end of which are stone balustrades terminating at the bottom in paneled effect. Ascending the stairway, a plaza 30 by 72 feet is reached, the oval ends of which are enclosed in cut stone balustrades and the space paved with vitrified brick and concrete border. Face-work of the building is constructed of Oolitic limestone from Bedford Indiana, with a Vermont granite base, and rest upon a concrete foundation as solid as the everlasting hills. It is surrounded by an architectural stone terrace, with concrete floor covered with vitrified brick.
Portions of the terrace adjacent to the building had prismatic glass blocks set into a concrete frame to allow light into basement rooms through a light well. These light wells were located along the north and south face of each wing between the center bay and the projecting end bays of each wing, at the projecting bays of the east and west wings, and at the center bay of the south elevation.
The outer walls of the building are ornamented with seventy Ionic-columns, thirty two on the front, four on either end and thirty on the back. All of them are monoliths, twenty seven feet ten inches tall and weigh about eighteen tons each.
The Pediment, over the north entrance is richly sculptured, and adds greatly to the appearance of the building. The heroic figure in the center represents Kentucky, standing in front of a chair of state. Her immediate attendants are Progress, who is seen kneeling at her feet pushing a winged wheel; History, on the right, is recording the events of the richly peopled past; Plenty, stands in the left background with a cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain and by her side is Law. Art is represented on the right by a female figure with palette and brush in her hand; Labor, in the rear facing Art, by a male figure stripped to the waist and grasping a hammer. The idea of the statue is portrayed in the two ends of the pediment by its indivisibility and stability is shown in the State Seal…signifying strength and unity. At the other end is an Indian group of two figures, suggestive of pioneer days, crouching with fear and watching the approach of civilization.
Sculptor C.H. Niehaus received $40,000 for the work. He was assisted on the project by Peter Rossack from Austria.
There are three entrances to the building, one facing the east and one at the west, while the principal doors face the north. In approaching the latter from the city it is necessary to ascend a flight of twenty-four steps rests of eight steps each, to reach the terrace floor. The steps are of Georgia Granite and the terrace floor is of concrete covered with vitrified brick. (the reason for the latter being that it is a more secure footing in the winter and does not reflect light and heat in the summer)…At the east entrance the terrace is reached by a few steps from the driveway, but at the west entrance there are two flights of twenty-one steps of granite each. One ascending from the north and the other from the south…
On either side of the north entrance to the rotunda there is a bronze tablet, the one on the west bearing the names of the Commissioners who had charge of the early stages of the erection of the building [ at the time of the laying of the cornerstone], and the one on the east bearing the name of the Commissioners who completed it [at the time of the dedication].
The Dome [is] a close copy of the dome of the Hotel des Invalides, in Paris, France, and in the center of the rotunda is a circle representing the position the red Finnish marble sarcophagus containing the ashes of the great Napoleon. The floor of the rotunda is composed of several kinds of marble blue and pink Tennessee and Verde Antique, while the walls are of Georgia marble. Upon the top of the dome there is a lantern containing four large 5,000 candle power electric lights, while the interior of the dome is lighted by 880 Incandescent bulbs, 120 in the eye, 120 reflected lights at the head of the pilasters, 120 upon the walls of the balcony, a line of 320 around the cornice, and 120 in the pendants on the walls of the second floor.(96)
First Level Interior
For elegance of finish these features are surpassed by no State Capitol, and are equaled by few. The floors of the corridors are of Tennessee marble trimmed with Verde Antique and light Italio marble, the wainscoting and pilasters are of Georgia marble, while the walls are covered with canvas, painted burnt orange and the stairways are of Georgian marble. The nave is beautiful indeed, being generous in length and breadth and is ornamented with thirty-six magnificent monolithic columns of Vermont granite, supporting massive cornices. These columns are twenty-six feet tall, weight ten tons, and cost- base, shaft, and capital- $1,968 each. Not only is this great marble nave a thing of beauty and magnificence, but it gives light and ventilation to the second and third floors of the building, and is the included area into which all departments can empty themselves with ease.
The office upon the first floor are located file rooms and the offices of the Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Fire Prevention and Rates, Land Office, Education, Adjutant General, Confederate Pension, Automobile, Livestock Sanitary Board, and custodian, as well as the Ladies Reception Room. All of these apartments, except Education (which is finished in mahogany) are finished in oak and furnished with the same.
Also present in the first floor on the south wall of the central pavilion was the Hall of Fame, where the Governor’s office is now located. This space contained portraits, artifacts, and other items of historical interest.
On the second floor are the executive offices, viz., Governor’s, Secretary of State, Auditor, Attorney General, and Treasurer, the walls all of which are hung with velvet and handsomely furnished in Mahogany. On this floor are also the offices of the Clerks of the Court of Appeals, the Court Room, Tax Commission, Law Library, Judges Consultation and private chambers, and the State Reception Room.
The State Reception Room is one of the most beautiful apartments in the building, the design being of the Louis XVI period and resembles very much the Public Reception Room of Queen Maria Antoinette, in the Palace of the Grand Trainon at Versailles, France. It is handsomely furnished with hand carved Circassian Walnut, the walls are decorated with hand painted cartoons of the Gobelin Tapestry and the hard-wood floor covered with a rug of the French Ellane quality, manufactured especially for the purpose. This room represents an expense of $9,000 the furniture and window hangings costing $3,000. The carpet was woven in Austria, the work requiring four months time, and it is so very heavy that the loom was broken three times, and it is 16 by 54 feet and weighs 1,027 pounds, it is said to be one of the largest special designed rugs ever woven, and the most splendid specimen of Louis XVI period extant in the United States.(97)
The floor plan drawing shows the placement of furniture in the State Reception Room and other areas of the second floor.
The Chamber of the Court of Appeals is indeed handsome; perhaps more so than any other court room in the United States. The walls are paneled in solid Honduras Mahogany, the ceiling is butch metal leaf lacquered to represent “old bronze,’ paneled with egg and dart mould effect, and the furniture of solid Mahogany, upholstered in olive green leather. The light fixtures are of brush brass, satin finish, and are exceedingly beautiful.
Numerous changes were made to the design of the Court of Appeals between the time the original drawings were produced and the room was constructed. The north and south ceiling bays are divided by two additional drop beams. The walls have engaged piers below the drop beams on the east and west walls, and piers on the north and south walls below the two additional drop beams.
The third story is devoted mainly to the halls of the Legislature, Clerk, Committee and retiring rooms, …Library Commission, State Inspector and Examiner, Court Reporter, Commissioner of Banking, and Superintendent of Public Printing have quarters on this floor.
The furniture throughout is designed especially for this building as are the handsome fixtures and hardware, the latter bearing on every piece the seal of the State.
The heating and ventilation of the building is complete, and constructed after the most approved and scientific, modern methods. The Power Plant is situated on the bluff of the Kentucky River, some six hundred feet from the Capitol building, and is reached through a tunnel leading from the sub-basement. Through this tunnel all heat, light, and power for operating the ventilating and vacuum system are conveyed. And there is no fire protection system within the building itself.
Building and Site Modifications
Between 1910 and 1930, different government departments were allocated vacant space in the Capitol, other departments were moved between offices to maximize space use, and minor renovation work was undertaken as part of these changes. Many of the minor building and site projects were deferred or delayed indefinitely, indicating that funds were not as readily available. However, space limitations became an issue in the building only 15 years after the dedication, when several of the offices were shuffled to maximize space use.
Work to complete the development of the Capitol grounds continued. Bids were received for construction of limestone walls on the north and west boundaries of the site (along State and Shelby Streets). Bids were also received for construction of a road along the Lawrenceburg Pike to the site of the Capitol. Plans and specifications were submitted by F.M. Andrews Company for the construction of main approach steps and bids were received for $23,540. Plans were released for bid for water piping for a lawn sprinkling system, with a low bid of $1,307.(98)
Following the dedication of the New Capitol, the Old Capitol building was renovated for new state government uses. Several departments were moved in ad out of the building over the next few years. A permanent function was not assigned to it until 1920, when the Kentucky Historical Society was granted the use of portions of the building.
In May 1910, Governor Willson wrote to J.B. Speed of Louisville with a suggestion.(99) The Speeds were one of the oldest and more prominent families in Kentucky. They had been associated with Abraham Lincoln through J.B. Speed’s uncle, Joshua Fry Speed (1814-1882), who had been a lifelong friend of the late president. Governor Willson wrote that a bust of Lincoln had been temporarily placed in the rotunda, but that a larger, full statue of the late president was desired. Models in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and another one in the state were described for the type of statue wanted. Willson suggested that it was appropriate for Mr. Speed, apparently a wealthy man, to provide the funding necessary to the state for commissioning a statue of Lincoln.
Speed wrote back that through his son-in-law, F.M. Sackett, agreeing favorably to the proposition of Governor Willson, and that Adolph Alexander Weinman,(100) sculptor of the Hodgenville Lincoln, had been commissioned to produce the work. Weinman’s contract called for installation of the Lincoln statue by October 1911.(101) The statue, placed on a pedestal of green Serpentine Marble from eastern Pennsylvania was unveiled in the presence of President William H. Taft on November 9, 1911. The pedestal has the name “Abraham Lincoln” incised on the front face and “The Gift of James Breckinridge Speed” on the back face both highlighted with gold paint in conformance with the wishes of Mrs. Hattie B. Speed.(102)
The aging Governor’s Mansion located on High Street dating from 1797 was a concern to the members of the Sinking Fund Commission. In 1899 the mansion had suffered a fire, and despite repairs the long term usefulness of the structure was in doubt. In 1912 the board moved to construct a new mansion on the grounds to the east of the New Capitol. Architects selected for the new building were Weber, Werner & Adkins of Cincinnati, Ohio. Partners in the firm included C.C. Weber, E.A. Wever, G.S. Werner, and J.S. Adkins. C.C. and E.A. Weber were from Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Additional land was purchased at the northeaster corner of the Capitol grounds from L.F. Johnson for $9,500.
The Capital Lumber and Manufacturing Company was selected to build the new Governor’s Mansion. The initial contract amount was $24,751.60, followed by subsequent contracts for finishing the building.(103) The eventual total cost of the Governor’s Mansion was $80,058.36. The landscaping design for the mansion was developed and implemented by William Speed.(104)
Beginning with a request in 1910 from the Order of the Daughters of the Eastern Star for use of the Senate Chamber for a meeting, the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners determined that they should have jurisdiction over all future requests. In March 1912, a pension examiner and clerk had been appointed and required offices in the Capitol. Space was allocated in the corner office of the northwest end, first floor, adjacent to the Adjutant Generals office suite. This involved construction of a partition across the room to provide the pension examiner with a separate office. Additional space allocations were made, including rooms 311 and 312 assigned to the Banking Commissioner, room 310 for the Printing Commissioner, and room 314 for the Board of Tuberculosis Commissioners. A sundial was given to the state for placement on the Capitol grounds by Dr. W.T. Durrett, son of Kentucky historian R.T. Durrett.(105)
On November 13, 1912, Arbor Day was celebrated at the Capitol grounds with the planting of trees, in conformance with a tracing of the site (presumably based on the Olmsted brothers design from 1910). Trees were to be planted in honor of each county of the state, as well as a tree planted for the entire state by Governor McCreary.(106)
In July 1913, a “waiting stand” was planned for the corner of Todd Street and Capitol Avenue. The stand, designed by L.L. Oberwarth of Frankfort for a fee of $40, was to be constructed of Franklin County stone. A bid for $160 was accepted for the new structure.(107)
Space use changes in 1914 included allocation of the third floor room on the north side of the building next to the Library Commission for the use by the Adult Illiteracy Commission. Within a few months, the Adult Illiteracy Commission required more space, and were given a room on the south side of the third floor. The Secretary of State was allocated a first floor in the northeast corner for the Commission of Motor Vehicles; finishing of the room included installation of a “good quality linoleum.” The State Text Book Commission was allowed the use of the State Reception Room for meetings. In November 1914 authorization was given to repair roof leaks, which cost $1,510.03. Repairs were also authorized for leaks in the dome.(108)
In 1915, repairs and renovations to the grounds were addressed. The Public Roads Commissioner was requested to supervise the resurfacing of the two front driveways of the Capitol. The commissioner was consulted on the use of rock asphalt for the paving. The “granitoid” concrete sidewalks also require repairs. Plans were discussed for the forthcoming inauguration ceremony to be held on the Capitol grounds and within the building. The sun dial given by W.T. Durrett in 1912 was to be placed on a stone pedestal in the second grass plot north of the main entrance of the building. On the building interior, repainting of the House and Senate Chambers was considered but not implemented.(109)
In 1916, repair documents for the concrete sidewalks were sent out for bids. A bid of 10-1/4 cents per square foot of sidewalk was approved. Approval was given for purchase materials to repair the driveways around the building. A fence was constructed on the north side of the Governors Mansion to block off the yards of the adjacent houses. The Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners considered purchasing a plot of land to the north of the mansion to construct a garage. Approval was given to install several light standards around the mansion. The board reviewed bids for converting the refrigeration plant used in cooling the building to an ice plant. However, none of the bids were accepted. Space in the building occupied by the Kentucky Historical Society was ordered turned over for use by the Board of Prison Commissioners. Later in the year the commission was allowed to use an additional room formerly used as the telephone room. The Board of Control was moved from the Old Capitol to the New Capitol and temporarily given offices in the Senate Clerk’s rooms. Work performed to repair the roof and dome in the amount of $981.51 was ordered paid.(110)
In 1917, the librarian was granted permission to use a portion of the basement for storage of government documents in addition to the already occupied space on the fourth floor, which was full. The Senate Clerk was moved from the north side of the building to the south side. Rock asphalt was purchased for repairs to the driveways. Roof leaks were repaired in the cupola of the dome. Storm doors were approved for installation at the main and east entrances to the building. Prior to the meeting of the legislature, the House and Senate Chambers were painted.(111)
In 1919, the secretary of the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce urged the Sinking Fund Commissioners to obtain two or more captured German cannons for the Capitol grounds. The pedestal was completed and installed for the statue of William Goebel at the end of Capitol Avenue, although it is not clear if the statue had been temporarily placed before the pedestal was available. A “lunch stand” was opened in the basement of the Capitol for the convenience of the legislators. Twenty-five radiators were to be installed in the Capitol to provide additional heating.(112)
In 1920, due to the need for more office space, State Treasurer James A. Wallace is granted the use of an adjacent office occupied by Judge Clay, who was to be relocated. A door was to be placed between the Treasurer’s office and this additional office. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals requested and was granted a door between his general office and the Clerk’s private office.(113)
As early as 1922, it was reported that “lack of foresight in anticipating future needs has marked many public enterprises and an outstanding example is furnished in the present State Capitol at Frankfort, completed only a dozen years ago at an outlay of nearly $2,000,000.”(114) Space was reported to be at a premium, and several state departments were still located or relocated to the Old Capitol across the river. Discussion was already being advanced for construction of a wing to the Capitol.
In 1924, roof leaks are reported in the Capitol; “Barber’s Asphalt” is recommended for repairs. The Sinking Fund Commissioners prohibited the use of any space in the Capitol for lobbying efforts. The Superintendent of Public Buildings was directed to designate a toilet room for “the use of colored women…so that the toilet on the first floor may be generally understood for use of the white women.”(115) Ten additional radiators were installed in the Capitol. On the grounds of the Capitol, the Sinking Fund Commissioners approved the purchase of three plots of land to the east of the approach drive. In 1925, a restaurant was still in use in the basement of the Capitol, which needed additional ventilation and running water for the kitchen. The lease for this restaurant space was to continue until January 1929.(116)
In early 1924, a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal suggested that mural decorations be installed in the New Capitol. It reminded readers that “the building itself has never been finished in accordance with the specifications for its interior embellishment. These call for the design of mural decorations to harmonize with the classic lines of the building.”(117) A budget of $100,000 was estimated for this work, but would make the building “second to none in the country.”(118)
In 1925, the board was given permission by the legislature to purchase plots of land adjacent to the Capitol grounds, including plots owned by the heirs of Frank Chinn, Mrs. John W. Rodman, and Mrs. Emma Guy Cromwell, then Kentucky Secretary of State.(119)
In order to maximize office space in the Capitol, a series of department and commission relocations were directed at the end of 1925. In conjunction with these relocations, the State Treasurer E.B. Dishman was authorized to make necessary changes and improvements and to secure the services of an architect if needed. Shuffling of office spaces included the following:(120)
- Space occupied by the Adjutant General’s Department; the Board of Charities and Correction; the Commissioner of Confederate Pensions; the Reporter of the Court of Appeals; the Library Commission; the “room directly under the Secretary of State’s office, now occupied by the Secretary of State;” one of the rooms used by Commissioner Sandidge of the Court of Appeals were all to be vacated.
- The Adjutant General and his department were to occupy the space formerly occupied by the Board of Charities and Correction.
- The Board of Charities and Correction were assigned to the four northwest offices vacated by the Commission of Confederate Pensions, Secretary of State, and Adjutant General.
- The Commission of Motor Vehicles was assigned to the room vacated by the Adjutant General “in the north side of the building, being the fifth room from the west end.”
- The Superintendent of Public Printing was assigned the room vacated by the Adjutant General in “the sixth room from the northwest corner on the first floor.”
- The Commissioner of Confederate Pensions was assigned the room vacated by the Adjutant General “on the west side of the building, second room from the northwest corner of the first floor.”
- Judge Gus Thomas and Judge Dietzman were assigned to the rooms vacated by the Library Commission.
- Commissioner Hobson was assigned temporarily to the smaller of the rooms formerly occupied by the Kentucky Historical Society.
- One of the rooms vacated by the Library Commission and the office vacated by Commissioner Sandidge were designated as legislative committee rooms.
In 1926, permission was granted for newspaper representatives to place a telephone booth on the third floor of the Capitol for use during the legislative session. Periodically different organizations continued to request permission to use the House or Senate Chambers for meetings. The Ice Men’s Conventions was granted permission to use the Senate Chamber on April 22, 1926; the Professional Business Women’s Club to use the House of Representatives Chamber on May 21 and 22, 1926; and the Nurses’ Convention to use the same chamber in June 1926. Following the legislative session, the Sinking Fund Commissioners made the following adjustments to the office relocation project:(121)
- The Securities department was given two rooms on the third floor formerly occupied by the Library Commission and the State Forester was given the office formerly occupied by the Securities Department.
- The Commission of Pardons was given the office formerly occupied by the Assistant Secretary of State, who was to move into the general offices of the Secretary of State.
- The State Purchasing Agent was assigned to the two first floor rooms east of the Board of Charities and Corrections.
- The Department of Motor Transportation was assigned the two third floor rooms east of the Senate Clerk’s office.
In 1928, Space was allocated for use by the Progress Commission, and was assigned the Senate Chamber Retiring Room. Also, the Attorney General was granted use of two offices formerly used by the Clerk of the House. The increase in automobile use required that more parking spaces be laid out on the Capitol grounds. Consideration was also given to planting ornamental shrubbery and trees on the grounds. Lighting was approved for installation at the rear of the building. On the interior of the building, the Superintendent of Public Instruction requested permission to remodel his offices, which was later approved along with work on the Attorney General’s office. A small room next to the automobile department was to be converted into a ladies’ restroom. Preliminary plans by E.A. Weber were approved for remodeling a portion of the basement for offices. The cost of the remodeling was projected to be approximately $25,000. Estimates were later returned for $30,000.(122) The capitol was featured in the stone trade journal, Through the Ages, in October 1928. Further reports of inadequate space in the new Capitol were reported in 1928:
When the present ornate State Capitol of Kentucky was complete and occupied in 1910, it was believed to be commodious enough to house all the State departments and agencies, but long since it was found inadequate for the purpose. For some years the old executive offices have been utilized for State business, and now it has become necessary for Kentucky to resort to rented quarters in which to install some of the departments.(123)
However, the report continues that many of these departments had been created since the completion of the New Capitol, including the State Highway Department ( the rise of the automobile coincided with the Capitol’s completion), Workmen’s Compensation Board, State Budget Commission, State Tax Commission, and State Banking Commission. Had the building been constructed in the 1920s, the report speculated, a building approximately twice the size of the existing New Capitol would be necessary.(124)
In November 1928, the chairman and chief engineer of the State Highway Commission told the board that expansion of the commission and plans developed for the Toll Bridge Act meant that they required more space. A plan was developed whereby rooms occupied by the Railroad Commission, State Geologist, and Game and Fish Commission were to be turned over to the State Highway Commission. The Railroad Commission wanted to vacate the building for other office space. Work on the grounds included planting of evergreens on the east end of the site. A driveway was proposed at the rear of the site.(125) Awnings were ordered for the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion. Roof leaks were reported over the House Chamber and were ordered repaired.(126) In 1929, it was reported that 279 people worked in the building, not including transitory “field workers.”(127)
In 1930, Charles Henry Niehaus sculpted two statues, one of Henry Clay(128) and one of Dr. Ephraim McDowell,(129) for display in the Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol building. Dr. Arthur T. McCormack, secretary of the State Board of Health, was present in Washington for the unveiling of the McDowell statue, where sculptor Niehaus offered to donate his plaster model for that statue to McCormack. McCormack in turn donated the statue model to the Kentucky State Medical Society, who in turn offered it to the state for display in the Capitol rotunda. Soon after Niehaus offered the McDowell sculpture model, he also offered the Henry Clay plaster model. This was given to the Kentucky State Bar Association, who also donated the model to the state. The McDowell statue was unveiled in the rotunda on November 15, 1930 and the Clay statue four days later. Both statues were coated to look like bronze.
In 1931, controversial plans to expand rock quarrying operations to the wooded slopes at the rear of the Capitol building were stopped by the efforts of the Garden Club of Frankfort.(130) Many of the bluffs and slopes surrounding the town had been carved away by quarrying. The fight inspired proposals for legislative action. In the 1932 session of the legislature, the House and Senate passed resolutions urging the State Parks Commission to obtain the land encircling the town to prevent further marring of the surrounding hillsides. However, the legislature had previously authorized the construction of a road through the bluffs at the rear of the Capitol grounds to connect with Lawrenceburg Road, a move stopped by Attorney General Cammack of the Sinking Fund Commission.(131) To draw attention to the beautification of the Capitol, the Garden Club of Frankfort planted 50 dogwood trees on the grounds, using funds supplied by the Sinking Fund Commission.(132)
Politics in the Capitol
Toward the end of this period, in 1931, there emerged a new leader in Kentucky politics. A.B. “Happy” Chandler, previously a state senator, was elected Lieutenant Governor as running mate to fellow Democrat Ruby Laffoon. On the day after the inauguration, Chandler announced he would maintain a permanent office in the Capitol Building, the first lieutenant governor to do so. Previously, lieutenant governors would remain in Frankfort only for the legislative sessions when they were needed to preside over the Senate. Chandler saw that by remaining in Frankfort, he could in essence “campaign” for the governorship in the 1935 election.(133)
By remaining in the Capitol, Chandler was able to maintain a measure of control in an informal capacity that was unavailable to governor Laffoon. One of Chandler’s boldest acts was in early 1935, when he called a special session of the legislature while Laffoon was outside the boundaries of the state. The session was to consider a law requiring a primary election instead of a party convention for the selection of candidates. When Laffoon returned to the state, he was forced to comply with Chandler’s decree for the session, which passed the legislation changing the primary structure. In subsequent primaries and election, Chandler was elected Governor despite opposition from Laffoon, who had wanted his candidate elected as the next Governor.(134)
State Government and the New Capitol: 1935 to 1947
Changes in State Government
After the election in 1935, Governor Chandler made several changes in Kentucky government. He brought several University of Kentucky professors into his cabinet. With their assistance and advice, the Shields-Nickel Governmental Reorganization Act was presented to the legislature and approved on March 7, 1936, which reorganized the separate departments of government into coordinated units under executive control. One element of the act was the establishment of the Legislative Council, later replaced by the Legislative Research Commission, to improve continuity between legislative sessions.(135) Tax collection procedures were restructured, restoring the state to a sound financial condition. A modest highway building program was initiated. Education reform was examined. However, despite his affiliation with the Democrats, the party of the New Deal, Chandler believed that the duty of the government was to restrict itself to providing roads, schools, and limited welfare.(136)
State government began to expand during this period. The crowded conditions in the Capitol building necessitated more office space. In 1937, preliminary plans were developed for a Bedford limestone clad addition to the capitol by Churchill & Associates of Lexington, with an estimated construction cost of $1,250,000.(137) In 1941 a separate 11 story State Office Building, constructed at a cost of $1,500,000, was opened north of downtown Frankfort. This building housed primarily offices of the state’s highway department, which had been located for over a decade in a cramped one story building. The site for the new office building was on the grounds of the State Reformatory, closed in 1937 after the flood of the Kentucky River.(138)
Site and Building Modifications
With the expansion of state government beginning in 1935, space at the Capitol building became a critical issue. Completion of the State Office Building alleviated this concern for a period of time, but by the post- World War II era more office space was needed. The most significant project performed on the Capitol building itself was the 1941 reconstruction of the dome. Other projects, including repairs to the terraces and exterior masonry work, corrected deficiencies that had become apparent.
Problems with the Governor’s Mansion were addressed soon after A.B. Chandler took office. These included roof leaks and resulting damage to interior finishes and electrical wiring, inadequate kitchen equipment, and bad plumbing. The legislature appropriated $40,000 for work on the mansion to correct these problems and to redecorate the entertaining spaces.(139)
Several items were in need of repair in 1935. Sidewalk and roadway pavements needed repair. Leaks were reported in several areas of the building. One of the elevators was regularly out of service. Within a few months, sidewalks had been replaced, and although several other problems were still present, a 140-space parking lot was laid out and paved on the west side of the building to alleviate problems with parking at the site.(140)
On December 10, 1936, Governor Chandler was present at the unveiling of a statue of Kentucky-born Jefferson Davis in the rotunda of the Capitol. The pinkish-white marble statue, by Fredrick Cleveland Hibbard,(141) was donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In addition, $5,000 in state money was appropriated for the base and installation costs.(142)
With the Commonwealth of Kentucky debt-free, proposals were received for decorating the interior of the Capitol building. When the building was under construction in 1906, plans were developed for a “system of mural decorations depicting Kentucky history.”(143) State debts were given as the reason for not implementing these plans. The revived proposals were meant to provide “an artistic touch and contribute wide interest with a pictorial panorama of Kentucky history with a gripping appeal.”(144)
The bridge across the Kentucky River connecting Capitol Avenue to the center of Frankfort was built after the 1937 Kentucky River Flood.
A small fire in the Capitol in early 1939 resulted in little damage, but called attention to numerous problems at the building. It was estimated that $250,000 was necessary to repair the brick terraces surrounding the building, reinforce the granite columns in the nave, and for other work inside and out. A few months later another fire started in the same basement storage room.(145)
In January 1940, the Senate considered a resolution to install $10,000 in air conditioning equipment to supply the two legislative chambers.(146) A more pressing issue arose within a few months, when problems with the dome required immediate attention.
Reconstruction of the Dome: 1941
Newspaper reports in April 1940 described the extent of problems at the State Capitol building. These included reanchoring stone veneer panels in the rotunda and nave spaces, repointing exterior stone, and repairing retaining walls around the terrace perimeter. However, the most serious condition was the deteriorated dome, which some feared was in danger of collapse, causing the rotunda to be closed to the public. The interior plaster dome was deteriorated and weakened, and it was also feared that the plaster would collapse. Heavy wooden frames were erected around the statuary in the rotunda.(147)
The dome was recognized as being in poor condition in 1930.(148) In 1932, the Louisville herald-Post reported that steel structure supporting the dome had suffered extensive corrosion. Water leaks had occurred in the rotunda around the Lincoln statue.(149) These reports were contradicted in 1933, when Cleveland M. Rhen, an assistant engineer during the original construction, inspected the dome and stated that “none of the structures supporting the huge dome have weakened.”(150)
However, water leaking through the terra cotta cladding had saturated the cinder concrete slab. Unburned sulphur in the cinders mixed with the moisture in the concrete to produce a mild sulphuric acid, accelerating corrosion of the structural steel frame as well as corrosion of the embedded reinforcing steel of the concrete.
Repair work to the dome included removal of the terra cotta cladding (excluding the terra cotta of the lantern at the apex of the dome), cinder concrete slab, and interior plaster dome. Portions of the steel structure that were severely corroded were replaced. Additional steel members, including steel pipe bracing located near the top chord panel points of the steel trusses, were added for reinforcement. A new 3 inch thick reinforced concrete shell slab was poured with a reinforced concrete base ring. The concrete slab was placed using pressure guns. Covering the concrete shell slab was a 3 ply membrane and a 7/8 inch parging. Terra cotta units were set in a 5/8 inch mortar bed joint. Selected portions of terra cotta joints were left open for weeps and ventilation. The interior ornamental plaster dome was replaced to replicate the original design. A lightweight wood structure covered the plaster dome and was sheathed in tar paper to protect the new plaster in the future. Finally, the roof over the entire building was to be removed and replaced with the new built-up roofing. Drawings for this work dated October 1940 were produced by the Engineering and Construction Division of the Department of Finance with consulting engineers Roberts and Schaeffer Company, Engineers and Contractors, of Chicago.
Other renovation work was performed concurrent with the dome reconstruction. The terraces surrounding the buildings were again repaired, along with the formal approach on the north side of the site. Specific repairs in the terrace include the removal of the prismatic glass slabs and replacement with concrete slabs and paves with vitreous promenade tile. Stone clad brick retaining walls were replaced with reinforced concrete retaining walls, followed by reinstallation of the stone cladding. Stone steps were reset along the terrace perimeter. Balustrades not removed and reset with retaining walls were repointed. Selected concrete slabs were removed and replaces with new concrete slabs. All of the brick paving was removed and reset following retaining wall and concrete slab replacement. The monumental north approach steps were repointed and with distressed stone units reset or replaced. Drawings for this work were produced by the Engineering and Construction Division of the Department of Finance, and dated July 1941.
In August 1942, the $189,000 repair project was completed. The exterior walls were planned to be cleaned with a chemical steam process. Interior corridors were to be painted and a portion of the plumbing and electrical systems was to be replaced.(151) (It is not clear if this work was performed)
Expansion and Renovation: 1947 to 1963
Kentucky Government in the Postwar Era
In 1947, Earle Clements was elected Governor. One of his acts was to develop funding programs for new state buildings by selling bonds. Bonds were retired by rent paid by the agencies occupying the new structures. This was necessitated by constitutional limits on state debts to $500,000. One of the buildings funded in this manner was the Capitol Annex complete in 1952.(152)
In 1948, the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) was established. Acting as the administrative arm of the General Assembly, the commission has developed into a 16 member panel made up of the majority and minority leadership. The committee oversees legislative business in the periods between General Assembly sessions. The committee oversees legislative business in the periods between General Assembly sessions. The commission employs a full time director overseeing a staff of researchers, budget analysis, attorneys, librarians, and clerical staff. They provide support services to the General Assembly, including statute revision, drafting of legislation, and clerical services to interim committees and legislators.(153)
Construction of the Capitol Annex meant that more workers were parking their automobiles on the site. Construction of parking lots on the south alleviated the congestion only for a short period of time.
On April 10, 1960, Governor Bert Combs allotted $50,000 from the Governor’s contingency fund to build the floral clock on the capitol grounds. Inspired by a similar feature Combs had seen in Edinburgh, Scotland, it survived criticism to become a significant tourist attraction in the state capital.(154) The eventual cost of the floral clock was $57,032.(155)
Documents dated June 17, 1960, included repairs to the masonry terraces with a total expenditure of $15,000.(156) Continued demand for parking spaces resulted in widening of the driveways to allow more parking spaces. The $199,000 project included storm sewers and curbing. Eight trees required removal. One hundred-twenty-three cars were also accommodated in a parking lot expanded behind the Capitol Annex.(157)
Between 1947 and 1963, work at the Capitol included a major interior renovation of the building’s office areas and several exterior repair projects. Large scale construction and renovation projects implemented during this period are discussed below.
In 1948, air conditioning was installed in the House and Senate Chambers were air conditioned following drawings by Warren & Ronald, consulting engineers from Louisville. The exterior lighting illuminating the dome was replaced in 1949.
An ongoing problem at the Capitol was the aging of the original wiring in the building. It was reported that small contained fires frequently occurred from insulation burning off of old wiring. It was thought that the building could not burn down, since the building structure was concrete and masonry. However, late in 1951 a $43,649 re-wiring project was initiated.(158) Work on the exterior terraces was performed in 1952, along with miscellaneous roofing repairs. Proctor-Ingles Engineers were responsible for the design of this work.
A description of the building from 1952- immediately before the large scale renovation project- gives details of elements no longer extant. The Hall of Fame, which was subsequently renovated as the new office of the governor, was still in use. The portraits of past Court of Appeals judges hung in the judge’s consultation room; they are now located along the second floor corridors. The only picture hung in the building’s public areas was of the late William Goebel, which was located above the president’s dais in the Senate Chamber.(159)
In 1956, Governor A.B. Chandler and the Court of Appeals decided to move the collection of Kentucky’s appellate judges to the second floor corridor. At the time there were 38 portraits in the collection, including about one-third of the judges who had served in Kentucky since 1792.(160)
A fallout shelter, 36 feet by 80 feet, was planned for the Capitol basement in 1961, with $37,500 budgeted for the renovation. Funding for the shelter came from the federal government. It was to be located under the west terrace and have 8 inch concrete block walls. Showers, chemical toilets, and various equipment were to be provided.(161) The Speaker of the House received an official office on the third floor of the Capitol in July 1962.(162)
Construction of the Capitol Annex
Expansion of state government since the mid-1930s led to the need for ever more office space. The State Office Building north of the center of Frankfort was lacking in space after only a few years of use. Proposals were made to construct a new office building at the rear of the Capitol, or to construct one building there and an addition to the State Office Building. In 1946, the legislature appropriated $600,000 for the construction of a judiciary building across the lawn from the south front of the Capitol. The cornerstone for this building was laid in November 1947, and $118,000 was expended on foundations for the planned building.(163) However, after Earle Clements became governor in early 1948, construction on the building was halted and the foundations sate behind the Capitol for several years.
By 1950, plans for a judiciary building had been abandoned. An office building for state financial departments was developed based on the foundations in place; however, the planned building was larger and extended to the south. Governor Clements’ plans to sell $4,000,000 in bonds to fund the new building was challenged in the courts, but eventually determined to be legal by the Court of Appeals. Construction began in 1950. Administrative departments were moved to the State Office Building across Frankfort. A tunnel was constructed to connect the new Annex and Capitol building. Full occupancy of the $6,000,000 building occurred in September 1952, with the official dedication the following month.
Renovation of the New Capitol: 1952 to 1955
Exterior work included cleaning and repointing of the exterior, resealing the joints of the terra cotta dome, rebuilding the deck areas around the dome and lantern cupola, replacing the brick pavers of the terrace, and installing waterproofing on the concrete slab underneath the brick pavers.(164) Cleaning was reported to be with a pressure spray using a mixture of fine sand and oil.(165) Repair documents were prepared by Oberwarth & Livingston Architects of Frankfort. The total cost of the exterior cleaning and repair project was $565,000.
The interior renovation is shown on drawings dated March 1, 1953, prepared by Oberwarth & Livingston Architects, Frankfort, with J. Leland Brewster, Associate Architect; and Proctor-Ingels Consulting Engineers, Lexington. A budget of $1,500,000 was originally allocated for the interior renovation. Low bids received on June 19, 1953, totaled $2,548,000, which were rejected two weeks later. After revising the bid documents (by removing the finishing of portions of the basement and eliminating millwork on some of the offices) and allocating $250,000 additional budget, bids were received on October 29. Low bids this time totaled $1,605,107, including $686,500 for general construction from Hargett Construction Company of Lexington; $157,300 for electrical from William Hepburn & Company of Lexington; and $761,307 for plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning from James E. Smith Company of Louisville. Bids were also received for $200,000 in alternates.(166)
Renovation work began on December 1, 1953. Interior renovations included shifting of office spaces, with several departments moved out of the Capitol. The State Education Department and the Agriculture Department were moved across Frankfort to the State Office Building. The State Treasurer had previously moved to the Capitol Annex. The offices of the Governor and Secretary of State were moved from the second floor to the first. The new Governor’s Office was located in the space formerly occupied by the Hall of Fame immediately south of the rotunda. The Attorney General’s office remained on the first floor. A tourist information desk was installed near the main entrance. The second floor offices were renovated for use by the judges and staff of the Court of Appeals and the Statute Research Commission. The third floor office space was renovated for legislative offices, including the Legislative Research Commission and the House and Senate leadership. The Press Room was located on the third floor at this time.
Scaffolding was erected to access the marble walls for cleaning. The cleaning procedure included washing the stone surface with hot water, followed by application of a cleaning solution. After rinsing the cleaner, the surface was polished with a dry cloth. Cleaning of the scagliola in the House and Senate Chambers was with a mixture of water and clear alcohol, followed by polishing with alcohol-based shellac.(167)
The Capitol Building was rededicated on November 17, 1955, with a ceremony led by Governor Wetherby.(168) The total cost for the renovation was $870,000 for general construction, $211,000 for electrical work, and $755,000 for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning. The Governor’s Mansion was to be redecorated concurrently with the Capitol Renovation project.
However, some controversy followed this project. In the 1955 race for governor, A.B. Chandler returned to politics after serving the United States Senate from 1939 to 1945 and as national commissioner of baseball from 1945 to 1951. In the run-off election against fellow Democrat Bert Combs, Chandler cast aspersions on his opponent. Chandler aligned him with the political forces that had reportedly paid $20,000 for a rug for the governor’s office (a charge later proved false) and also had imported African mahogany for wall paneling. Chandler stated that he would have used “good, honest Kentucky wood.”(169)
Repairs and Initial Preservation Efforts: 1963 to 1980
Between 1963 and 1980, parking at the Capitol became a more critical issue, finally resolved in the late 1970s with the construction of a parking garage. Other minor changes were made at the site.
At the end of 1963, the statue of William Goebel was relocated from the end of Capitol Avenue to the lawn of the Old Capitol, near where Goebel had been shot. This action was authorized by Governor Bert Combs, who did not think the statue belonged in front of the New Capitol and that it constituted a traffic hazard. With little objection, the statue was moved.(170)
A sanitary sewer lift station was constructed for $18,085 with documents dated April 20, 1965. In October 1966, repairs began on the main approach steps on the north side of the Capitol. Work totaling $29,435 included repairs and sandblasting of the steps and brick walks. Repointing of joints was also performed.(171) Work on the site at the end of 1968 included replacement of concrete walks, repairs to the terrace drainage gutters, and additional building repairs totaling $56,846.(172)
By the late 1960s, parking spaces at the Capitol were seriously limited. In 1965 the possibility of building a multi-level parking structure on the side of the bluff overlooking the Kentucky River was considered.(173) A lot on the east side of the building held only 30 cars. Assigned spaces had been necessary for some time, although this did not prevent unassigned parkers from using them, despite the threat of ticketing and towing.(174)
The Capitol grounds around the Governor’s Mansion were to be re-landscaped according to drawings prepared by Miller, Wihry, & Lee, dated 1977. However, it does not appear that this work, which included installation of a circular driveway leading around to the west elevation of the mansion, was fully implemented if at all.
In 1977, a 1,000 space, multi-level parking garage structure was completed east of the Capitol Annex.
Many small to medium scale renovations and changes in use occurred in the last 1960s and 1970s, with some focus on preservation issues. On October 3, 1963, the last large statue installed in the Capitol, of former vice president Alban Barkley,(175) was unveiled in the rotunda. In 1960, the legislature had appropriated $50,000 for the statue. The sculptor for this work was Walker Hancock.(176) The bronze statue was cast in Rome. The new statue was place on a base of St. Genevieve marble. While visiting for the unveiling, Hancock performed some minor repairs to the Clay statue.
A prayer room or chapel was opened on the second floor of the west wing on March 1964, using funding from state Kiwanis Club. In late 1964, work began on converting four fourth-floor storage rooms to committee rooms. The work was estimated to cost $70,000. Air conditioning was installed for the first floor offices the following year for $11,434. The elevators were replaced in 1967 for $79,000. The new elevators, by the Otis Elevator Company, were to be automatic operating; the original elevators installed in 1910 required a manual operator. Two of the skylights were reglazed the same year for $8,675. Minor interior renovations to storage rooms also included replacement of the carillon, for a total budget of $11,500. The carillon consisted of 98 electronically amplified bells that could be played manually from two ranks of keyboard or automatically from a roll player.
Work at the building in late 1968 included installation of the terrazzo floor on the second floor terrace outside of the State Reception Room (which is shown on the original drawings as being paved with steel reinforced concrete slabs), repair of a broken column capital on the south elevation, and installing new aluminum window screens. Maintenance work included repainting of ornamental iron, window frames, and brick chimneys and parapets.(177)
In 1969, renovations were performed on the Attorney General’s office for $23,116. The lieutenant governor’s office was remodeled for $2,900. The largest project in this period was performed on the fourth floor, where $133,400 in renovations was implemented for the Legislative Research Commission. Mechanical and electrical work included in $13,000 for transformers and Switchgear and $11,300 for public address systems in the House and Senate Chambers.
The First Lady of Kentucky, Mrs. Beulah Nunn, took an interest in the State Reception Room after finding some of its original furniture in the basement of the Capitol. At that time the State Reception Room was being used for lunch room, smoking lounge, and conference room. Mrs. Nunn led an effort to restore the room, banning all but official receptions and other uses. Work totaling $3,237.44 included sanding and refinishing the floor, cleaning the Austrian rug, new draperies and reupholstering of furniture, and installation of carpet runners to allow tourists to view the room.(178)
An article in the Louisville Courier-Journal from January 1970 reported on the crowded conditions in the Capitol during the legislative session. Although the House and Senate Chambers were still considered adequate, limited office space, lack of space for secretaries, and inadequate toilet room facilities made functioning in the building difficult. Privacy for impromptu meeting was impossible. Committees had the use of such spaces as the State Reception Room, but the recent restoration efforts limited use of this space of official functions only. Legislators charged that past governors had stopped efforts to improve working conditions.(179)
In 1970, a new roof was installed for $42,375. The display cabinets for the “first lady doll collection” were installed in 1971 for $4,500. State Board of Election offices were renovated in the basement in 1973 for $24,000. The offices of the Office of Policy and Management were renovated for $60,000. Additional fourth floor renovations that provided five rooms for the use of the House and Senate leadership were performed in 1973 for $124, 776. The architects for this work were Gray, Coblin and Porter of Frankfort. The east and west wings were renovated for $331,106. The last group of work in 1973 included renovations to the House and Senate Chambers for $66,517.
The lack of space in the Capitol leads to controversial plan to move the press office from the building. In August 1973, the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times sent the state a check for payment of rent on their office space within the Capitol.(180) Six months later a bill to remove the press corps from the Capitol passed the House and Senate.
Waterproofing of the Terrace was performed in 1974 for $10,050. Offices of the Court of Appeals were renovated in 1975 for $9,943. Rooms 60 and 64 were also renovated for $27,809. Further remodeling of the fourth floor was performed for $21,345. Two restrooms in the west wing basement were renovated for disabled access for $52,742. Air conditioning systems were modified for $22,500. Painting of public spaces (east and west wings and rotunda) was performed for $14,221. The final work in 1975 was a second phase of interior painting for $42,900. In 1977, the emergency generator and related systems were replaced for $323,000. Exterior lighting was modified in 1978 for $40,582.
Toward the 21st Century: 1980 to the Present
Changes in State Government
Regarded by some historians as weaker than in most states, the Kentucky General Assembly underwent numerous changes in the period from 1965 to 1985. These changes came in several forms. Although the legislature still meets every two years for its regular session as regulated by the state constitution, there was less turnover than in the past, with approximately 80 percent of members returning as opposed to 50 percent as had been the case before.(181) Legislators devote more time to their constituency than in the past. An interim committee system was established in the late 1960s for legislators to confer on state business outside of the regular session, a system that has been expanded several times.
Court-mandated reappointment in the early 1960s lessened the heavily urban bias in legislative districts, leading to more legislators independent of large party organizations in the cities. In 1979, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing the General Assembly to schedule the 60-day legislative session over a three and one-half month period, longer than previously. Also during this period, the governor has exercised less control over the choice of legislative leaders. The General Assembly also has more control over the state budget than in the past, making numerous alterations and amendments to the governor’s budget proposal before approving it and returning it to the governor for signature. All of this has led to the strengthening of the legislative branch versus that of the governor and the executive branch. Legislative committees have gained more oversight abilities than in the past. However, the governor still has the power to call special legislative sessions.(182)
Only recently have governors been allowed to succeed themselves. All previous governors could serve four years and not run again until the following election four years following.
The focus on preservation of the site and Kentucky State Capitol building became increased as it reached 75 years since dedication. In 1982, a formal parterre garden was developed on the west lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, reinforcing the relationship with the Capitol. Reconstruction of the steps leading to the main entrance of the Capitol was performed in October and November 1983.
In 1984, a landscape master plan was undertaken with Scruggs and Hammond, Inc., James B. Evans and Associates, Miller/Wihry Inc., and Sabak, Wilson, and Lingo, Inc. The focus of the study was to recommend how to restore the “extensive informal plantings to create a park-like setting for the building, a promenade, and a circular arrival drive.” Since initial inception, numerous changes had been made to the grounds and landscaping. One of the recommendations of the master plan was not to restore the plant varieties included in the Olmstead plans because they were “not desirable from a plant-culture standpoint.” The master plan examined four physically interlocking and visually overlapping landscape areas: the Capitol area, Capitol Annex area, the Governor’s Mansion area, and Capitol Avenue.(183) Recommendations from the landscape master plan included reconstruction of the terraces surrounding the Capitol building, planting and landscape modifications, and removal of parking from the curved entrance drives. The project for terrace reconstruction, landscaping, and modifications to the east parking lot was completed in the first half of 1988.(184) A strong supporter of the master plan implementation was Governor Martha Layne Collins. In 1989, the Capitol grounds won an Honor Award from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
In 1995, the two story, wood frame Dawson Residence was demolished. The state had acquired the house and three-tenths of an acre site, located on a short section of Logan Street to the north of the Governor’s Mansion, in 1992 through eminent domain proceedings after it had been vacant for several years. After removal of the Dawson Residence and the short portion of Logan Street and the site of the house were landscaped.(185) A greenhouse on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion was also removed at this time.
The roof on the Capitol was replaced in 1980. This work was part of a $1,009,700 exterior renovation project. The scope of roofing work included installation of a new built-up membrane and associated flashing, repairs to stone coping units, removal of several small skylight structures at the end of the pavilion of each wing and replacement with a concrete slab and roofing, and numerous other minor repair items. Repair documents for the roofing were prepared by Thompson & Wiechers, Architects, in Frankfort.
In 1981, communication systems in the House and Senate Chambers were renovated for $141,100. This included removal of all desks and carpeting. Troughs were cut into the concrete floor for wiring. The desks were refinished at this time. Emergency lighting and fire alarm systems work was performed for $178,212. Accessibility improvements, including public restroom renovations on the second and third floors, were implemented for $335,350. Construction documents for this work was prepared by David C. Banks, Architect, of Frankfort. Terrace and marble repairs were performed in 1984 for $309,000. Included in the scope of these repairs was cleaning of the interior marble.
In 1985, the Division of Historic Properties developed criteria for the display of objects of art in the Capitol. Under these regulations, the busts of famous Kentuckians were relocated to the west entrance vestibule in 1986. Among the most famous of those relocated was the bust of Colonel Harlan Sanders, which had been located in the front entrance. Other busts that were placed in the west vestibule were Henry Clay and Senator John Sherman Cooper. Also present is a plaque to Thelma Stovall, former secretary of state, state treasurer, and the first woman elected lieutenant governor.(186)
Restoration work was performed on the rotunda statues beginning in 1991. Repairs were made to the coated plaster statues of Clay and McDowell statue and restoration of the nose on the Clay statue. After repairs, the McDowell was cleaned and the Clay statue was recoated to match the color originally intended by the artist. The bronze statues of Barkley and Lincoln, along with the marble Jefferson Davis statue, were cleaned at the time of the repairs to the Clay and McDowell statues. The left toe of the Lincoln statue was particularly worn due to the good luck visitors thought they would have by touching it. Work was performed by Fine Objects Conservation of Connecticut. The worn toes of the Lincoln and Barkley statues were repatinated and coated with wax.(187)
In 1991, maintenance to the exterior windows included repainting of frames, replacement of deteriorated glazing putty, and coating of wood sills with an epoxy wood filler prior to repainting. In the same year, the chapel on the second floor of the west wing was reported to be in poor condition. The space was partially used as a storage room, and maintenance was performed to restore it to full use.(188) However, substantive renovation work has yet to be performed.
In 1994, an engineering study was performed to determine if the rotunda floor structure could adequately support the load of the five statues currently in place. Due to the limited information on the original drawings, and using assumptions of concrete construction from the period, it was advised that no additional statues be installed in the rotunda without further testing of the existing materials to determine the capacity of the existing structure.(189)
In 1994, construction documents were produced for the restoration of the north pediment on the Capitol by K. Norman Berry Associates of Louisville, Kentucky. The scope of the repair work included limestone cleaning with Sure Klean 766 Limestone and Masonry Prewash (an alkaline gel) followed by SureKlean Limestone and Masonry Afterwash (acid neutralizer), as manufactured by ProSoCo of Kansas City; repointing of deteriorated mortar joints; installation of “Dutchman” units and other stone repairs (including replacement of a finger on the sculpture of “Lady Kentucky”), and application of a silane ethyl silicate water repellant (SureKlean Weather seal H40 as manufactured by ProSoCo) to the limestone surfaces.(190)
In October 1995, a gift shop was opened on the basement level of the building along the corridor leading to the underground tunnel to the Capitol Annex. The entrance to the gift shop is slightly recessed off the corridor and has glass doors.
In March 1996, portraits of 17 notable Kentucky women were hung in the first floor corridor to the north and west of the rotunda. The portraits by Paula Jull depict educator, artists, doctors, authors, and politicians famous in Kentucky and nations history and were commissioned in the late 1970s by the Kentucky Commission on Women. Their move to the Capitol commemorated the appointment of Emma Guy Cromwell as state librarian in 1896.(191)
Restoration of the Skylights
Repair documents for the art glass panels in the House and Senate Chambers were prepared in 1994 by Haworth, Meyer, & Boleyn, Inc., of Frankfort, Kentucky, with Jeff Short of Nashville, Tennessee, as art glass consultant. The scope of repair work included cleaning of art glass panels, replacement of deteriorated caming, installation of reinforcing bars, replacement of deteriorated weatherproofing putty, and repair of other conditions.
Repair documents for the skylights in the east and west wings, along with the clerestory windows, were prepared by Haworth, Meyer, & Boleyn Inc. with Cumberland Stained Glass Studio of Nashville, Tennessee, and Kaiser-Taulbee Associates of Lexington as mechanical/electrical consultants. The scope of repair work included items similar to the repairs to the House and Senate art glass panels, as well as refinishing of the clerestory frames and installation of a catwalk system in the attic space above the east and west wing ceiling vaults.
Restoration of the State Reception Room
In 1992, the State Reception Room underwent a restoration after over 80 years of use. The ceiling had been painted nine times since 1910, obscuring the original colors and detail. The wood flooring had been sanded and refinished, primarily around the room’s perimeter only, removing the original finish. Draperies and upholstery did not match the original in color or style. These items were restored, along with preservation of the surviving original finishes.
Second Reconstruction of the Dome: 1997 to the Present
In 1996, the dome was investigated by the firm of K. Norman Berry Architects of Louisville in conjunction with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., of Chicago, Illinois. It was found that the glaze of the terra cotta was deteriorating due to algae attack. Consequently in 1998 the terra cotta was removed from the dome and lantern and stored on site. Approximately 750 units of terra cotta were replicated (including the entire lantern assembly) by Hathernware of Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. The salvaged terra cotta was scrubbed with a solution of water, sodium hypochlorite, and tri-sodium phosphate to kill the algae. All units, old and new, were soaked with a solution of copper sulfate dissolved in water to retard future growth. The existing waterproofing was removed from the concrete structural dome and this dome was re-waterproofed with a modified bituminous membrane. The terra cotta units were reset with a ventilated air space beneath, with vent access at the bottom and top.
The limestone drum below the dome was repointed and the limestone was cleaned with Sure Klean 766 Limestone and Masonry Prewash (an alkaline gel) followed by SureKlean Limestone and Masonry Afterwash (acid neutralizer), as manufactured by ProSoCo of Kansas City, Kansas. A silane ethyl silicate water repellant (Sure Kean Weather seal H40 as manufactured by ProSoCo) was also applied to the limestone surfaces. This project was completed in December of 1999.
1- F. Kevin Simon, ed., The WPA Guide to Kentucky (1939; reprint, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 40.
3- Bayless, Hardin, “The Capitols of Kentucky,” The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 43, No. 144 (July 1945), 179-82.
4-John Ed Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963 (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1987), 17-21. Caleb Powers, Attorney General elect and Geobel’s alleged assassin was never convicted of the crime despite circumstantial evidence. Evidence did prove that the shot was fired from Powers’ office.
5-The Old Capitol included the “Old” in its name at this time.
6- John McClusky Blaney, The Capitol Question: The Need of a New State House (Frankfort, Kentucky: Geo. A. Lewis Publishing House, 1903), 3.
7-Obituary of Creedmore Fleenor, Park City Daily News (July 16, 1925), p.8.; Architecture of Warren County, Kentucky (Bowling Green, Kentucky: Landmark Association of Bowling Green and Warren County, 1984), 369-70.
8-Creedmore, Fleenor, The Poetical Works of Creedmore Fleenor (Bowling Green: The Author’s Publishing Company, 1905).
9-Henry Wolters (1845-1921) was born and educated in Germany. Wolters designed the Union Railroad Station, in Louisville; the Cotton Exchange Buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Memphis, Tennessee; and the courthouses in Birmingham, Alabama, and Evansville, Indiana. (Henry F. Withey and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) 1970; reprint, Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1996), 669.)
10- Charles Julian Clarke (1836-1908) was born in Frankfort and educated at the University of Kentucky. Clarke was the architect of several churches in Louisville. Arthur Loomis (1857-1934) was born in Westfield, Massachusetts. He trained under C.J. Clarke before becoming his partner in 1891. The firm designed the Todd Office building in Louisville. After the death of C.J. Clarke, Loomis designed the Speed Office Building in downtown Louisville and the Speed Museum at the University of Louisville. (Withey and Withey, 123 and 379.)
11-Kenneth McDonald (1852-1940) was the architect of several important Louisville buildings, including the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Y.M.C.A. Building, and the Lincoln Bank Building. (Withey and Withey, 405.)
12-Leo. L. Oberwarth (1872-1939) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received some architectural training in Germany. He apprenticed with several architects before opening his own office in Frankfort, Kentucky, where his designs included the Southern Presbyterian Church, the Franklin County Courthouse, and the State Institute for the Feeble Minded. (Withey and Withey, 446.)
13-George R. Mann (1856-1939) was born in Indiana and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After practicing in Minneapolis, he won a competition for the new capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1901. From his office in Little Rock, where he worked for the remainder of his life, Mann was responsible for office buildings, hotels, and other public and private structures in Midwestern and southern states. (Withey and Withey, 389.)
14-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, April 7, 1904.
15-Theodore C. Link (1850-1923) was born in Germany and educated in Germany, London, and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. He immigrated to the United States in 1870, eventually practicing in St. Louis, Missouri, where he designed the Union Station, Carleton Office Building, and Lindall Avenue Church. He later moved to and practice in Jackson, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Withey and Withey, 374.)
16-Cass Gilbert (1858-1934) was one of the most prolific architects in the period from 1890 to 1930. Maintaining offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, and New York City, he was architect for the Minnesota State Capitol, New York Customs House, Woolworth Building, and the Supreme Court Building. (Withey and Withey, 233-4)
17-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, May 17, 20, 24, 26, 27, and June 10, 1904.
18-Frank M. Andrews, “American Architecture,” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 59 (May 26, 1911): 734. The paper won the society’s Silver Medal.
19-Two Residences, for A.H. Carr and E.M. Thacker, were published in Inland Architect 32, no.5 (December 1898), plates.
20-The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume XLII (N.d., Reprint, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, 1967), 135.
21-The Hotel McAlpin was published in David E. Tarn, “New York’s Newest Hotel,” Architectural Record 33 (March 1913): 231-242
22-Withey and Withey, 20-21.
23-C.M. Fleenor, Superintendent of Construction of the State Capitol Building, to the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, n.d. [1906?]
24- C.M. Fleenor, Superintendent of Construction of the State Capitol Building, to the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, n.d. [July 1904?]
25- Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, February 27, March 29, and April 1, 1905.
26-“Plat of Frankfort, Kentucky 1805, copied from deed Book M.P 212, Court of Appeals,” in Hardin, “The Capitols of Kentucky,” map after p. 176.
27-Some of the construction drawings for the New Capitol list Hiestand, Hathaway, & and Steven as associates on the project. Harvey H. Hiestand (died 1945) began his career in Boston and later worked in the New York office of F.M. Andrews and Company. From 1921 until his death he practiced in Ohio. (Withey and Withey, 285.)
28-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, August 7, 1905.
30-C.M. Fleenor, “Kentucky’s New State Capitol and Its Construction,” The New Kentucky Home, Frankfort, Kentucky; Ella Hutchinson Ellwanger, n.d [circa 1910s.]
31-“Kentucky’s Magnificent $1,000,000 Capitol,” Louisville Courier-Journal (January 1, 1906), sec.2, p.1.
33-“Important dates regarding the New State Capitol,” Unpublished list, division of Historic Properties, Berry Hill Mansion, Frankfort, Kentucky, n.d.; and Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, May 30, 1925. May 25, 1905 is given in C.M. Fleenor, “Kentucky’s New State Capitol and Its Construction,” as the date that the clearing excavation began.
34-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, May 30, 1925.
35-Charles Henry Niehaus (1855-1935) created numerous sculptures that are currently displayed at the Kentucky State Capitol, included the north pediment sculpture group, Henry Clay, and Dr. Ephraim McDowell. Born in Cincinnati, Niehaus received his artistic education at McMicken School in that city and at the Royal Academy in Munich. Niehaus received gold medals at the Pan-American Exposition in buffalo (1901), the Charleston Exposition (1902), and the St. Louis Exposition (1904). Besides the pediment group and late works placed at the Kentucky State Capitol, Niehaus also executed sculptures of Dr. Hahnemann and John Paul Jones in Washington D.C.; President Garfield in Cincinnati; and the Astor Memorial doors at Trinity Church in New York. (Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985), 450; Glenn B. Optiz, ed., Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, New York: Apollo Book, 1983), 684.)
36-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, June 19, 1906.
37-“Kentucky’s Magnificent $1,000,000 Capitol,” p.1.
38-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #9, March 5, 1906.
39-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #58, June 13, 1906.
40-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #59, June 15, 1906.
41-Since the rotunda piers extend below the basement level, it is also possible that the cornerstone is located at the basement level or below the basement floor. For the cornerstone to be located at the level of the first floor rotunda, it would have to have been laid approximately 15 feet or more above the level of the pier foundation.
42-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #91, June 25, 1906.
43-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #92, June 25, 1906. Additional work on the dome, referring to architectural drawing 174, is included in Order Slip #675, dated August 26, 1907, in the amount of $508 additional. The nature of the additional work is not described in the order slip.
44-“Dedication Day for Kentucky’s New Capitol,” The Frankfort State Journal (June 2, 1910), n.p.
45-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #93, August 1, 1906.
46-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #194, August 24, 1906.
47-The General Supply & Construction Company to F.M. Andrews & Company, Construction invoices, October 31, 1906,and February 1, 1907
48-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #318, February 4, 1907
49-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip # 554, June 3, 1907.
50-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip # 780, November 4, 1907.
51-F.M. Andrews & Company to Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Company, Order Slip #781, November 13, 1907; F.M. Andrews & Company to Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Company, Order Slip #782, November 13, 1907.
52-The General Supply & Construction Company to F.M. Andrews & Company, Construction invoice, September 28, 1907.
53-F.M. Andrews & Company to Joseph McWilliams & Company, Order Slip #713, October 2, 1907; F.M. Andrews & Company to Joseph McWilliams & Company, Order Slip # 714, October 2, 1907.
54-F.M. Andrews & Company to Joseph McWilliams & Company, Order Slip #635, December 7, 1907; F.M. Andrews & Company to Joseph McWilliams & Company, Order Slip #636, December 7, 1907.
55-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip # 853, January 23, 1908.
56-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #858, February 7, 1908.
57-F.M Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #864, March 13, 1908.
58-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip # 862, May 29, 1908.
59-First floor corridors outside of the entrances and rotunda area were to have terrazzo floor with pink Tennessee marble borders. The east and west entrances were to have Verde Antique marble borders, terrazzo field, and pink Tennessee marble contrasting designs. The main entrance was to have a pink Tennessee border and steps with a terrazzo field. Second and third floor corridors were to have a gray Tennessee marble field with Verde Antique borders and Italio marble accent panels. The fourth floor corridors around the House and Senate Chambers galleries were to have pink Tennessee marble. (Minutes of the Board of State Capitol commissioners, May 8, 1908.)
60-An invoice from J.S. Poer & Co., Jobbers, Painters, a& Frescoers, Lexington, dated October 28, 1908, was for 181 hours for two men to paint concrete floors in the new building. Invoice in the Kentucky State Archives.
61-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, April 17 and May 8, 1908.
62-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, June 13 and July 14, 1908.
63-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, July 14, 1908.
64-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, April 30, 1908. The new board contacted Olmsted Brothers without first informing their architect Frank Mills Andrews. The following month, the board asked Andrews what was included in his contract as far as landscaping. (Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, May 27, 1908.)
65-Norman T. Newton, Designing on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971), 389-90. The successor firms of Olmsted Brothers continued in business until 1980.
66-Minutes of the Board of State capitol Commissioners, July 29 and August 3, 1908.
67-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #783, November 13, 1907.
68-F.M. Andrews & Company to General Supply & Construction Company, Order Slip #784, November 13, 1907.
69-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, April 17, 1908.
70-The General Supply & Construction Company to F.M. Andrews & Company, Construction invoice, May 1, 1908
71-F.M. Andrews & Company to the General Supply & Construction Company, N.d., in Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, July 17, 1908.
72-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, July 29, 1908
73-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, August 14, 1908.
75-Office of Superintendent of Construction, Labor and material list, N.d. [circa January 4, 1909.]
76-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, January 25, 1909.
77-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, January 27, 1909. Portrait and mural painter Thomas Gilbert White (1877-1939) was born in Grand Haven, Michigan. White studied at the Academie Julian, the Beaux Arts, and with numerous artists including James McNeill Whistler. He created murals at numerous state capitol buildings and other public buildings, including the Utah and Oklahoma state capitols; the Department of Agriculture building, Washington, D.C.; and the Brooklyn Museum. White also painted the portrait of Kentucky governor James Bennett McCreary. (Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985), 675; Glenn B. Optiz, ed., Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, New York: Apollo Book, 1983), 1003.)
78-F.M. Andrews & Company to the A. Schachne Company, Order Slip No.1, March 4, 1909.
79-F.M. Andrews & Company to The Wollaeger Manufacturing Company, Order Slip No. 3, March 11, 1909.
80-F.M. Andrews & Company to the A. Schachne Company, Order Slip No. 3, June 2, 1909. Cost of this work was $1,750.
81-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, February 27, 1909.
82-Office of the Superintendent of Construction, Memorandum of Fixtures Installed in the Kentucky State Capitol Building from June 14th to July 28th 1909. An invoice from the Mitchell Vance Company in the Kentucky State Archives dated July 28, 1909 gives a total cost of $15, 775.75. (The Mitchell Vance Company to the Capitol Commission of Kentucky State Capitol, Invoice dated July 28, 1909.)
83-Minutes of the Board of State capitol Commissioners, August 11, 1909.
84-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, December 7, 1908.
85-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, February 26, 1909.
86-Frank K. Kavanaugh, Kentucky’s New State Capitol (1933; reprinted, N.p., 1952), n.p.
87-Kramer, Capitol on the Kentucky, 261 and 297.
88-“Famous Artist Coming Here,” The Frankfort News (February 5, 1910), p.31. Frank Millet later would die in the sinking of the Titanic.
89-Minutes of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, March 31, 1910.
90-Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, April 9, 15, May 5, and 16, 1910. Other land purchases were made later to expand the Capitol grounds.
91-“New Capitol is Dedicated with Imposing Ceremonies,” Louisville Courier-Journal (June 3, 1910), n.p.
93-Kavanaugh, Kentucky’s New State Capitol, n.p. Much of the landscaping was implemented in the years following the 1910 dedication.
94-A complete financial account on the project included the following (Financial Statement, Kentucky State Capitol, prepared by C.M. Fleenor, Superintendent of Construction, n.d.):
95-Quoted text edited from Frank K. Kavanaugh, Kentucky’s New State Capitol (N.p., 1933).
96-Twelve people have lain in state in the Capitol rotunda, including A.B. “Happy” Chandler, former governor and senator, in 1991; Bert Combs, former governor, in 1991; Lawrence Wetherby former governor in 1994; and Vic Hellard, Jr., former director of the Legislative Research Commission, in 1996.
97-The chief conservation architect at Versailles, France, reviewed photographs of the room in 1987 and had the following comments (Philippe Bigot to John Roach, trans. Unknown, September 30, 1987, Division of Historic Properties, Berry Hill Mansion, Frankfort, Kentucky):
The wall decorations of the Reception Room… were inspired by the interior architectural style of the 1670s…Walls of this type are marble with gilded bronze, using the Ionic order of Scamozzi (such as in the Venus Room or the no longer extant Ambassador’s Staircase), which is the order found nearly everywhere in the Palace…Similar elevations are present in the Hall of Mirrors and the Hercules Room of the Palace. The Frankfort fireplace seems to be directly copied from the Diana Room.
98-Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, June 14, 21, July 15, 19, and August 2, 1910.
99-Augustus E. Wilson to J.B. Speed, May 31, 1910, in Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, July 29, 1910.
100-Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870-1952) was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and immigrated to the United States when he was ten. He studied at Cooper Union and with August Saint-Gaudens. He worked as assistant to Charles Henry Niehaus and Daniel Chester French. Weinman work includes Lincoln memorial sculptures in Hodgenville, Kentucky (predating the rotunda Lincoln), and Madison, Wisconsin; museum works at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City Museum, Missouri; and the “Liberty” half dollar and “Mercury” dime. He also designed the sculpture of the Louisiana State Capitol, Elks National Memorial, Chicago, Illinois, and the Supreme Court Building and the United States Post Office Building, Washington D.C. (Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985), 667; Glenn B. Optiz, ed., Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, New York: Apollo Book, 1983), 990-1.)
101-F.M. Sackett to Augustus E. Willson, July 25, 1910, in Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, July 29, 1910.
102-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, April 29, 1913.
103-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, July 27, 1912; Carl E. Kramer, Capital on the Kentucky: A Two Hundred Year History of Frankfort & Franklin County (Frankfort, Kentucky: Historic Frankfort, Inc., 1986), 281-2
104-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, May 8, 1913.
105-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, October 26, 1910; March 7, June 5, and September 9, 1912.
106-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, October 30, 1912. Of the entire arboretum planted in the 1912 Arbor Day celebration, approximately two acres remained in 1988, the res covered over by the Capitol Annex and adjacent parking lots. By the late 1980s, only two trees were identified as being part of the 1912 Arbor Day planting. (Byron Crawford, “You can’t see the forest- or many trees- from 1912,” Louisville Courier-Journal (April 1, 1988), sec. B, p.4.)
107-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, July 29, August 11, and September 26, 1913.
108-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, April 29, May 22, September 24, November 5, and December 22, 1914.
109-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, March 11, April 16 and 28, October 12, and November 26, 1915
110-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, May 2 and 16, July 7 and 13, September 5, and November 14, 1916.
111-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, February 6, April 3, May 4, and November 2, 1917.
112-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, May 13, August 5, October 18, and December 20, 1919.
113-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, January 13 and November 10, 1920.
114-“Capitol Is Too Small,” Louisville Courier-Journal (September 10, 1922), n.p.
115-Segregation existed in Frankfort as it did in much of the American south. In 1927, with 85.2 percent of the population Caucasian and the remainder African-American, Frankfort had five grade schools for “whites” and one for “coloreds.” There were segregated houses of worship, with a total of nine churches for “whites” and four for “coloreds.” Social and charitable organizations, hospitals, and cemeteries were also segregated. (Willard Rouse Jillson, Frankfort, Capital City of Kentucky: An Industrial and Civic Survey (Frankfort, Kentucky: Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, 1927), 16-20.)
116-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Funds Commissioners, January 21 and September 5, 1924; March 4 and 27, 1925; and November 21, 1927.
117-“Capitol Grounds Enlarged,” Louisville Courier-Journal (March 30, 1924), n.p.
119-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, August 18, 1924. The controversy surrounding this purchase of additional land is discussed in several newspaper accounts, including “Mrs. Cromwell Sells State Lot at Record Price,” The Louisville Times (March 23, 1925), n.p.; “The State to Buy Capital Land from Official,” Louisville Courier-Journal (March 23, 1925, n.p.; “Daugherty Probes Titles to Lands,” The Louisville Times (April 1, 1925, n.p.; and “State to Buy Land for Capital Approach,” Lexington Herald (August 20, 1925, n.p. Mrs. Emma Guy Cromwell was State Treasurer.
120-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, December 23, 1925.
121-Minutes of the Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, January 8 and March 26, 1926.
122-Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, April 28, May 4, 15, 22, and 29, and August 23, 1928.
123-“State Capitol Now Inadequate,” Louisville Courier-Journal [December ?, 1928], n.p.
125-Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, November 10, 1928, January 31, and March 29, 1929.
126-Minutes of the Board of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, June 6, 1929
127-“Under the Dome of the Capitol,” Louisville Herald-Times (March 31, 1929), n.p. The highway department employed approximately 140 office workers in the other quarters outside of the New Capitol.
128-Henry Clay (1777-1852) known as “the Great Compromiser” for his leadership in managing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850, served for 43 years in the state legislature and United States House of Representatives and Senate. Under President John Quincy Adams, he served as secretary of state. Despite three failed attempts at winning the presidency, Clay is remembered for his legislative ability and statesmanship.
129-Dr. Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830) was one of the first surgeons to practice in Kentucky. In 1809, he pioneered the surgery for the removal of ovarian tumors.
130-“Preservation of Hill at Frankfort Urged,” Louisville Courier-Journal (April 1, 1931), n.p.
131-“Senate Urges Action to Save Capital Hills,” Louisville Courier-Journal (January 30, 1932), n.p.; “Road Plan Menace to Capitol Tract Beauty,” The Louisville Times (February 1, 1932), n.p.; “Legislature’s Interest in State Capitol is Not Shared by Frankfort,” The Louisville Times (February 25, 1932), n.p.
132-“1,000 Dogwood Trees to Beautify Capital,” The Louisville Times (February 8, 1933), n.p.
133-Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963, 34-5. Numerous other lieutenant governors would do the same in subsequent decades. This practice was aided by the fact that the duties of the lieutenant governor were not always well defined, meaning the lieutenant governor could spend his time outside of his assigned duties “politicking.”
135-Julie Haviland,”Legislative Research Commission,” The Kentucky Encyclopedia, John E Kleber (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1988), 542-3.
136-Ibid., 39. Chandler opposed President Roosevelt and many of his New Deal policies. Chandler would also challenge Roosevelt’s favored candidate in the 1938 Senate race, Alben Barkley.
137-“New Capitol Wing Studied,” The Louisville Times (June 29, 1937), n.p.
138-Allan M. Trout, “The Mistakes of the Past,” Louisville Courier-Journal (September 15, 1948), n.p.
139-“Mansion ‘Insult,’ Inspector Says,” The Louisville Times (April 23, 1936), n.p.; $40,000 Suggested for Mansion Work,” Louisville Courier-Journal (May 2, 1936), n.p.
140-“Improvements on Capitol are Urged,” Louisville Courier-Journal (April 28, 1935), n.p.; “State Capitol Improvements,” Lexington Herald (August 18, 1935), n.p.
141-Frederick Cleveland Hibbard was born in 1881 in Canton, Missouri. After studying at several universities, Hibbard studied under Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago. Hibbard’s works are located in numerous academic settings, including Northwestern University and the University of Chicago; public spaces including the Louisville Public Library and Lincoln Park, Chicago; and memorials including one at Shiloh National Park (Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985), 280; Glenn B. Optiz, ed., Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, New York: Apollo Book, 1983), 428.)
142-“Chandler to Accept Heroic-size Statue of Jefferson Davis,” Frankfort State Journal (December 10, 1936), p.1.
143-Will Kaltenbacher, Untitled article, Louisville Courier-Journal (June 11, 1939), n.p.
145-“Probe of Fire Reveals Need of $250,000 to Repair Capitol,” Louisville Courier-Journal (May 7, 1939), n.p.; “Capitol Fire Damage Light,” Louisville Courier-Journal (July 22, 1939), n.p.
146-“Air Conditioning Bill Accompanies Mercury’s Dive,” The Louisville Times (January 18, 1940), n.p.
147-“State Capitol Dome Reported in Danger of Collapsing,” Louisville Courier-Journal (April 7, 1940), n.p.; “State Capitol Rotunda Unsafe, Is Blocked Off,” The Louisville Times (April 10, 1940), n.p.
148-“$189,000 Repair Job Complete on 32-Year Old Capitol Building,” Louisville Courier-Journal (August 31, 1942), n.p.
149-“Condemnation of State Capitol Dome Looms As Rust Eats Superstructure,” Louisville Herald-Post (January 10, 1932), n.p.
150-“Capitol Dome Safe, Builder’s Aid Finds,” The Louisville Times (October 21, 1933), n.p.
152-Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963, 51
153-Haviland, “Legislative Research Commission,” The Kentucky Encyclopedia, 542-3.
154-Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963, 135.
155-“Floral Clock Cost Listed at $57,032,” The Louisville Times (September 20, 1961), n.p.
156-Records of these referenced projects from the 1960s through early 1980s and their expenditure are listed in the State Capitol file at the Division of Historic Properties, Berry Hill Mansion, Frankfort, Kentucky. The list records that some of the documents relating these projects have been destroyed.
157-Paul R. Jordan, “State Capitol Driveways to be Wider,” Louisville Courier-Journal (October 7, 1960), n.p.
158-“State Capitol Afflicted by Fires,” The Louisville Times (January 31, 1951), n.p.; “Bid of $43,649 Wins Capitol Rewiring Job,” Louisville Courier-Journal (October 30, 1951), n.p.
159-Allan M. Trout, “Kentucky’s Capitol has Aged a Little, But it has Glamour,” Louisville Courier-Journal (May 14, 1952), sec. 1, n.p.
160-“Capitol to Get Portraits of Justices,” The Louisville Times (December 6, 1952), n.p.
161-Paul R. Jordan, “Capitol Shelter Planned,” Louisville Courier-Journal (September 14, 1961), n.p.
162-“Capitol Office Provided for Speaker of House,” Louisville Courier-Journal (July 4, 1962), n.p.
163-“State Planning a $4,000,000 Office Building,” Louisville Courier-Journal (February 9, 1949), n.p.; “Legal Building Ceremonies Set for Dec. 1,” Louisville Courier-Journal (November 22, 1947), n.p. The planned judiciary building was to cost $929,905 and was to hold 425 workers. The plan view of the north elevation of the building was retained in the building constructed more than two years later.
164-Allan M. Trout, “Bids Are Asked to Renovate Exterior of State Capitol,” Louisville Courier-Journal (April 17, 1952), n.p.
165-“State Capitol Undergoing Renovation; Tourist Information Center is Planned,” Lexington Herald-Leader (November 16, 1952), n.p.
166-Anne Pardue, “Capitol-Job Bids Drop to $1,605,107,” Louisville Courier-Journal (October 30, 1953), n.p.
167-Anne Pardue, “State Capitol Washed by Hand,” Louisville Courier-Journal (August 23, 1955), n.p.
168-“Important dates regarding the New State Capitol,” N.d.
169-Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963, 61.
170-Pearce, Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1963, 202; Sy Ramsey, “Goebel Statue Moved to Old Capitol” Louisville Courier-Journal (December 3, 1963) n.p.
171-“Capitol open, but entrance is closed for cleaning,” The Frankfort State Journal (October 12, 1966), p.5.
172-Department of Public Information- News Division, Press release, October 23, 1968.
173-John L. Newman, “Budget Makers at State Capitol Take A Look at Parking Situation,” The Louisville Times (October 28, 1965), n.p.
174-Bruce Hadley, “Battle for Parking Spaces Growing Hot,” Frankfort State Journal (March 19, 1969), p.5.
175-Alben Barkley (1877-1956) served as a United States congressman from Kentucky for 40 years and was vice president under Harry S. Truman from 1949 to 1953.
176-Walker Hancock was born in 1910 in St. Louis, Missouri, and educated at Washington University (St. Louis), University of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and the American Academy in Rome. His work is exhibited at the National Gallery, Corcoran gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Besides Alben Barkley, Hancock created sculptural portraits of Booth Tarkington and Robert Frost for the National Portrait Gallery and Douglas MacArthur for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hancock also designed medals for the Army, Navy, and Marines, and sculpture groups at the Kansas City War Memorial and the St. Louis Soldier’s Memorial. (Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985), 260; Glen B. Optiz, ed., Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, New York: Apollo Book, 1983), 395.)
177-Department of Public Information- News Division, Press release, October 23, 1968.
178-Anne Pardue, “Reception Room: A Capitol Improvement,” The Louisville Courier-Journal & Times (March 2, 1969), sec. D, p. 1.
179-Robert Schulman, “Kentucky’s grand- and crowded- Capitol,” Louisville Courier-Journal (January 11, 1970), n.p.
180-Linda Raymond, “C-J, Times pay state for press room space,” Louisville Courier-Journal (August 15, 1973), n.p.
181-During the same period (1965 to 1985), the number of state legislatures meeting only every two years dropped from 31 to 7. (Malcolm E. Jewell and Penny M. Miller, The Kentucky Legislature: Two Decades of Change (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1988), 3.
183-Scruggs and Hammond, Inc., et.al. Master Landscape Development Plan, 1988.
184-Tom Loftus, “Capitol Improvements,” Louisville Courier-Journal (November 16, 1987), p. 1.
185-Information from memoranda in the files of the Division of Historic Properties, Berry Hill Mansion, Frankfort
186-“Busts in Capitol moved to one area,” The Lexington Herald-Leader (April 12, 1986), n.p.
187-Mark R. Chellgran, “Plaster Surgery…Statues of Henry Clay and Dr. Ephraim McDowell to get face lifts,” Louisville Courier-Journal (July 17, 1991), p. B-6; Chad Carlton, “Taking a Shine to Lincoln’s Statue,” Lexington Herald-Leader (December 23, 1994), p. B-1.
188-“ Drive to repair Capitol chapel begins,” Lexington Herald-Leader (June 25, 1991), p. C-2
189-Joseph A. Lenzi, Senler, Campbell & Associates, to Robert W. Schade, Division of Engineering, Finance and Administration Cabinet, March 8, 1994
190-Kentucky State Capitol North Pediment Restoration, Frankfort, Kentucky, K. Norman Berry Associates Architects, dated 15, July 1994.
191-“Capitol Display Honors Women from Ky.’s Past,” Lexington Herald-Leader, 26 March 1996, sec. C, p.1.