The Iowa State Capitol Grounds 1913 Extension and Reconstruction Project, October 2012

(2012) The Iowa State Capitol Grounds 1913 Extension and Reconstruction Project, October 2012. Legislative Services Agency (Legislative Service Bureau)

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Abstract

The Capitol grounds have been evolving through planned and unplanned actions for more than 150 years. The 1857 Constitutio established Des Moines as the capital. The commissioners appointed to choose a site decided on land donated by Wilson Alexander Scott and Harrison Lyon. Located on the east side of the Des Moines River, on a gently rising hill, the site for the Iowa State Capitol began with fewer than 10 acres. The Old Brick Capitol was built in the center of that 10-acre plot, and the area to the north was used as a public park until work began on the present day Capitol. In 1884, the two-year process of moving from the Old Brick Capitol to the new Capitol began. The state commissioned John Weidenman to design the first formal decoration of the grounds. Weidenman’s plans for the west approach to the Capitol included planting statues, and walkways. The State held some additional land but not necessarily land adjacent to the Capitol. In 1909, legislation was passed, and in 1913, the Thirty-Fifth General Assembly enacted controversial legislation to acquire additional land. A commission was formed to locate a purposed monument honoring the long-serving U.S. Senator William B. Allison. E.L. Masqueray was hired as the architect expert focusing on the selection of a proper site for the proposed Allison Memorial. Masqueray’s plan detailed the placement of buildings and potential monuments. Growth of the Capitol Complex, as known today, began.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: History of Iowa, Iowa State Capital Grounds
Subjects: History and culture
History and culture > History of Iowa
History and culture > Landmarks
ID Code: 15816
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2014 19:26
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2014 19:26
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/15816