Another state capitol

Trip Start May 06, 2010
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Trip End Oct 14, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Thursday, July 1, 2010

I started the day by driving to the Alaska State Capitol Building.  I couldn't find parking and it didn't seem like it was far from my hotel so I drove back there, left the car and started walking.  Juneau isn't the best city for walking.  It's very hilly and the climate is foggy and wet.  But then on the plus side, it's a small city with a population of around 31,000 people.  While the downtown area is fairly compact the city itself is not.  The city limits encompass
a total area of 3,255.0 square miles, making it the second-largest municipality in the United States by area behind Sitka, Alaska.  It is larger than two states. 

I worked up a sweat doing it, but I made it to the Capitol.  I went in and waited for a tour.  The Capitol was started in 1929 as the Federal and Territorial Building long before Alaska was a state.  Since it wasn't built as a capitol it's not the usual neo-classical building with a rotunda modeled after the US Capitol surrounded by gardens.  Instead, it looks like an office building with some Art Deco touches in a block of other office buildings. 

It required extensive renovations to covert it to a capitol since it lacked House and Senate chambers.  The Supreme Court was moved at some point to a building across the street.  Other parts of the government have also moved to nearby buildings but the Governor's Office is still in the Capitol.

After touring the Capitol I visited the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.  It's a small museum but I enjoyed it. 

I walked over to the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church.  It seems to be undergoing renovations.  They appear to be holding some services there but it's not clear it's currently open to tourists.

I wandered around town a bit and found my way back to my hotel.  Tomorrow I'll be taking a ferry to Glacier Bay National Park.
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