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State Capitols
A Never-ending Hobby





The images and information on this page were gathered by
Valerie Mockaitis during a trip to Salem in July of 2009.


The Surprising Oregon Capitol
So many of our capitols have exterior domes, columns, and porticos, but Oregon's does not have a typical exterior in many ways. The absence of a dome is immediately noticeable, which makes finding the interior dome, shown at right, quite surprising.

Oregon capitol main entrance


Inner dome
The inner dome from the rotunda

The ground floor rotunda is the only place where one can view the inner dome. There are no balconies from upper floors. We were actually in the rotunda for several minutes before most in our group realized there is an inner dome at all, and then it was only because I pointed it out!

  Inner Dome Oculus

Inner dome


The State Seal and Grand Staircases



Grand Staircase leading to the Senate Chamber


The main entrance to the capitol leads to the rotunda. In the center, directly below the inner dome, is a large bronze replica of the state seal embedded in the floor, as shown below. To the left is a grand staircase leading to the Senate Chamber, and to the right is a matching staircase leading to the House of Representatives Chamber.


Grand Staircase leading to the House of Representatives


The Senate Chamber and One Governor's Portrait



Over the stairs leading to the Senate chamber is the Seal of the Provisional Government, dated 1846 to 1848.

Provisional Government Seal
Senate chamber

Shown on the right is the Senate Chamber as seen from the entrance at the rear.

Shown at far right is a portrait of the Governor in office at the time of our visit. The casual dress and setting for the painting are unusual, but not so much for an Oregonian! And notice the medical bag on the ground. This Governor is a Doctor.

  Governor's Portrait  

The Stone Textures and House Chamber



The walls and floor of the rotunda and stairs are covered with a variety of types of stone. The pattern at the edge of the floor shown below is made with black marble.

Floor and stair textures

Over the stairs leading to the House of Representatives is the Territorial Seal, dated 1848 to 1859, shown below.

The House of Representatives Chamber is shown at right. The carpeting design features the Douglas Fir, which is the state tree.

Territorial Seal
  House of Representatives  

More on Oregon:
Telling Them Apart, Surprisingly Different Designs
What's On Top, Statues of Men
Favorites, Just Because
Favorites, Photographic Art
Oregon Postcard & Image Gallery
Capital & Capitol History
Old & New Capitol Timeline

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Page Last Updated: May-02-2017

Site Author: Valerie Mockaitis     ©2005 - 2017 Valerie Mockaitis