Location: 600 Washington Street Southeast
National Register, State Register, Local Register, National Historical District; Women’s History
As it appeared in late 1800s
As it appears today (2012)
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 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 (during construction), C1977.44.5, C1958.181x.1 (breaking ground for annex); 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