Kansas State Capitol Dome Tour

 10th and Jackson
Topeka, Kansas 66612
(785) 296-3966

Free Capitol Building Tours Monday - Friday
9:30, 10:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15
Reservations are accepted

Tour the rest of the Capitol Building

View of Topeka, Kansas from the Kansas State Capitol Dome.
View from the Capitol Dome
Kansas capitol dome interior
Interior of Kansas Capitol outer dome.

The Kansas State Capitol Dome tours were halted for several years while the building had $330,000,000 of renovation.The original plan was for the work to be completed by June of 2012, but the date was pushed back twice. The tours resume February 3, 2014. The descriptions and photos on this page are from previous to the renovation. 

Visitors take an elevator to the 5th floor, where the tour begins. There are 296 steps from there to the top of the outer dome. The pace is relaxed, with stops on three levels, and should be no problem to someone in average condition. The most interesting area is above the inner glass dome, in the 75 feet of enclosed space between the inner and outer domes.

In addition to great views, the interior of the Kansas State Capitol Dome has interesting graffiti. After I photographed the oldest known graffiti (1903), the friendly, young guide pointed out a sticker from when Berry Goldwater visited the Capitol while campaigning for President in 1964, "AuH2O '64." Then he pointed to a name close to the sticker and explained it was his grandfather's name. Sadly that surface is scheduled to be refinished in the near future.

Many of the names are located where someone writing them would have had to make a very risky climb. The scariest are on the underside of the dome near the top, with no other surface nearby. 

During my tour of the Kansas State Capitol dome, a woman froze in place at the bottom of the last spiral steps near the top and was unable to go all the way.

The Kansas State Capitol building can be visited from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday and 8AM to 1PM on Saturday.

Photos of the Kansas Capitol dome exterior.

Exterior of the Kansas Capitol inner dome.
Exterior of the inner dome. Notice the local television news cameras - one attached near the very
top of the inner dome shoots down at the floor of the capitol, the other in the window at upper
left shows the skyline.

The exterior dome is made up of clay tiles with copper sheeting on the outside. The inner surface
has graffiti in extraordinary locations - notice the writing on the underside of a girder at top left.

One of the views from the top of the capitol dome is of three three grain elevators. The one in
the center was once the largest in the world, and is still the third largest.

Kansas Capitol dome graffiti.
Oldest known dome graffiti - dated 1903, the year the dome was first completed.

"AuH2O" sticker from 1964 when Berry Goldwater visited Topeka while campaigning for President.

Photos of the Capitol dome's exterior   Kansas State Historical Society Capitol website

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LS-2/14 copyright 2006-2014 by Keith Stokes