Arizona State Capitol
The Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, formerly housed the Territorial and State Legislatures, as well as various executive offices. These have relocated to adjacent buildings, and the Capitol is now maintained as the Arizona Capitol Museum.

Museum exhibits
Exhibits at the Arizona Capitol Museum focus on the history and culture of Arizona from its early days to the present. Topics include Arizona state symbols, historical figures, natural history, the role of government and the story of Arizona's statehood, the USS Arizona, and photographs from Edward S. Curtis.

The building was created as part of an effort to demonstrate that the Arizona Territory was ready for statehood. A design contest was won by James Riely Gordon, whose design was based on a failed proposal for the Mississippi State Capitol. The original design called for the Capitol to be much larger, more prominent rotunda, and large wings for both houses of the legislature on each side of the current building. Funding shortfalls meant the project had to be scaled down. Due to a mistake made while the mosaic seal was being produced in Ohio, cattle, one of the "five C's" of Arizona and present in the official state seal, is notoriously missing from the depiction of the seal on the main floor. The Capitol broke ground in 1898, and opened in 1901. In 1918 and 1938, expansions were added on the west side of the building, which followed the same architecture and brought the total square footage from the original 40,000 to a final 123,000. It was home to the Legislature until 1960, when the current house and senate buildings were constructed, and the Governor's Office until 1974, when the executive tower was built. The state at that time had a dream of turning the original Capitol into a museum dedicated to Arizona's history. After a restoration, the building opened as a museum in 1981, today the museum serves over 60,000 visitors. In the 1990s, over $3 million was spent to renovate the Capitol and rooms were restored to their original design. Again, due to budget shortfalls construction was halted on a few rooms on the third floor and they remain incomplete. The Capitol is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building is made largely from materials indigenous to Arizona, including malapai, granite, and the copper dome. The design is optimized for the desert climate of Arizona, with thick masonry walls that insulate the interior, skylights, and round "bullseye" clerestory windows to let heat out of the legislative chambers. The building is topped with a windvane similar to the Winged Victory of Samothrace, visible through a skylight from within the rotunda.

Capitol Mall Renovation Proposal
As Arizona's population has rapidly grown, the Capitol complex itself has been growing increasingly crowded. The Senate and House buildings, opened in 1960, have been physically deteriorating. The Senate in particular is prone to constant plumbing problems, and occasionally a broken pipe floods the entire building. The Capitol itself is now utilized exclusively as a museum, and serves over 60,000 visitors each year, including over 30,000 school children. In addition, many complaints have arisen that the current site is not aesthetically pleasing, and compare the senate and house buildings as oversized "bunkers" which eclipse the beauty of the Capitol. A task force appointed by the state legislature in 2007 reported that the complex is "barely" adequate to suit the state's current needs and "wholly" inadequate to suit the state's future needs. As a result, calls are now appearing to renovate or rebuild the Capitol site, to a grander site more befitting of the current size, heritage, and culture of Arizona, as well as a site that will more adequately serve the needs of the government. Recent proposals call for moving some office and meeting space back into the Capitol, while it maintains at least some function as a museum. The House and Senate buildings have been recommended to undergo either a drastic rebuild and expansion, or a complete demolition and construction of new facilities for the House and Senate. A recent Arizona State University study called for and planned a comprehensive redesign for the entire Capitol mall and complex.

Building Activity

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