The inner dome with its new chandelier - the original chandelier was removed during a
World War 2 scrap metal drive
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 resumed February 3, 2014.
Visitors take a classic 1923 cage 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.
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 first 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 rest of the Kansas State Capitol building can be visited from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday and 8AM to 1PM on Saturday.
LS-7/14 copyright 2006-2014 by Keith Stokes