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October 23, 2017
The resplendent Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock was built in 1915 and remains a visual masterpiece to this day. The 287,000-square-foot home of the Arkansas General Assembly contains many stunning features such as gorgeous limestone that was quarried in Batesville, a domed cupola topped by a large ball finial that’s covered in 24-karat gold leaf, and a 4,000-pound chandelier measuring 12-feet in diameter and 18-feet tall that hangs in the main rotunda.
Perhaps one of the more impressive features of this magnificent building is the bank of six 10-foot-tall bronze doors located on the eastern side of the rotunda, that used to serve as the main entrance. These gargantuan doors are four-inches thick and provide a look and feel that are complementary to a building that serves as the seat of the Arkansas state government.
These doors were originally purchased from Tiffany & Co. of New York in 1910 for $10,000, and they are valued at over $250,000 today!
To keep the unfinished bronze in a constant state of shine, the doors are polished every week by hand, inside and out. In fact, on the day we visited to take photographs, there was a gentleman there, hard at work, detailing these spectacular doors.
The doors used to serve as the main entrance, but the events of 9/11 changed things at the Arkansas Capitol Building, as they did across the nation. Now, visitors enter through the ground-level tunnel doors past security stations operated by the State Capitol Police.
If you’ve never seen the Arkansas Capitol Building in person, I heartily recommend that you visit to take in its glorious features for yourself. To schedule a guided tour of the Capitol, call the Visitor Services Specialist at 501-682-5080. Free tours of the Capitol Building are offered on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in visitors who request personally-guided tours will be scheduled for the next available guided tour. You don’t need a full tour, however, to see those wonderful bronze doors from the outside!
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