Location: 600 Washington Street Southeast
National  Register, State Register, Local Register, National Historical District; Women’s History

Old State Capitol DAAs it appeared in late 1800s
Photo from Digital Archives 
Old State CapitolAs it appears today (2012)
Photo courtesy of Deb Ross 

The Old State Capitol Building, currently the home of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, was initially built to house the Thurston County courthouse and opened in 1892. In 1902 the building was purchased by the state for use as the State Capitol Building. Following its acquisition by the state, the “annex” was built to the east. The building originally had a clock tower, shown in the photograph to the left. The year that the current Legislative Building was completed in 1928, a disastrous fire gutted the building and destroyed the clock tower. The building was again heavily damaged in the 1949 earthquake.

Over the years, many women have been employed in this building, ranging from clerk to legislators and officials, to Superintendents of Public Instruction in more recent years.

For more information about and historic photographs of the building, follow these links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Olympia Downtown District National Register

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog  numbers in Collections Search box): C1977.44.3, C1985.12.16, 1998.81.7, C1977.44.8, C1950.1301.2, C1977.44.5, C1958.181x.1; C2013.18.193

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction history of the building

History Link article: 1928 fire 

City of Olympia Downtown Walking Tour

Story map Thurston County courthouses

Looking Back feature, Teddy Roosevelt addressing crowd in front of building

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross