Territorial Capitol/Legislative Building

Location: 416 Sid Snyder Ave NW
Washington State Capitol National Historic District

territorial capitolTerritorial Capitol at statehood, 1889, Photo from Digital ArchivesWashington_State_Capitol_Legislative_BuildingLegislative Building today (2012), Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The first purpose-built legislative building was located at the far northern end of then-Main Street (now Capitol Way), at a location that now houses Capitol Campus. At the time, it was far from the commercial core of Olympia, and legislators, lobbyists and others found it difficult to find suitable lodging or transportation. Yet the building continued to serve as the Capitol building until about 1901, when it was decided to purchase Thurston County’s grand building in the center of town (see Old State Capitol Building). In the 1910s, the state approved the Wilder and White plan for the seat of government; it took until 1928, however, until the primary buildings of this plan were completed with the final touches on the current Legislative Building.
There are abundant on-line resources about the Legislative building and its history, including many pictures of the damage done to the building in the 1949, 1965, and 2001 earthquakes, the Wilder and White plan, and many photographs. The following resources are a sampling:

For more information about and historic photographs of these buildings and Capitol Campus, follow these links:

Digital Archives: Territorial Capitol Building TC1TC2TC3; Legislative Building construction LB1; earthquake damage LB2

Department of Enterprise Services, Capitol Facts

Wikipedia article, Washington State Capitol

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): C1982.30.18.29 (Territorial Capitol); 1943.42.1403;  C1985.12.19,C1985.12.25 (1949 earthquake), C1977.44.14 (Leg. building soon after completion (a search of the WSHS on-line catalogue will bring up approximately 200 photographs of the building)

Washington State Capitol National Historic District

DAHP report on Legislative Building

Wilder and White article by  Allen Miller for Olympia Historical  Society newsletter

Bird’s Eye View of Olympia 1979 (see location #1 on map)

 

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