capitol-aerial-1-4-15 legafterearthquake

Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives, 1950

This aerial photograph, taken in 1950, shows the dome of the Legislative Building under repair after the 1949 earthquake. Among the many repairs required, the original stone lantern atop the dome was replaced with a lighter weight lantern. An elaborate scaffold was built, with a tramway to transport materials and workers to the top. Dignitaries and their wives made frequent visits to the construction platform surrounding the top of the dome. Also visible in this photo are the Insurance Building under repair; the Capital Apartments and Olympia High School on Capitol Way visible in the background at right before their demolition to make way for East Capitol Campus; and black smoke wafting from the smokestack at Washington or Olympia Veneer. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see