Nov 28, 201711:27 AMInside Wisconsin
with Tom Still
100 years young, Wisconsin state Capitol still timeless
(page 2 of 2)
The remodeling reflected the fact the Capitol is a bustling place, home to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government. Modern technology was incorporated seamlessly into the architecture and more office space created. Major Wisconsin firms such as Affiliated Engineers, J.H. Findorff, J.P. Cullen & Sons and about 100 sub-contractors took part in one phase or another.
The goal was to remain true to the vision of two of the Capitol’s fathers. New York architect George B. Post designed the building in 1906 after a fire in 1904 destroyed the previous statehouse. Post died in 1913 before its completion. Madison architect Lewis Porter was superintendent of the Capitol’s construction from the time it left Post’s drawing boards until 1917, dying a few months after completion — some say due to complications from his overwork.
For some of the old-timers present in November, the gala offered a brief glimpse at how they recalled life in the Capitol during their tenure. While there were often knock-down, drag-out fights on the Capitol floor, Democrats and Republicans alike would gather at local watering holes later for bipartisan exchanges that seemed to solve more problems than they caused.
The national tenor of late has reached into statehouses from Alaska to Florida, and Wisconsin is no exception. After 100 years, however, the tradition is still one largely of civic debate inside a building that commands the respect of those who work and visit there.
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