Travel Guide New Mexico tm, State Capitol Building
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Uploaded on Jan 27, 2010
New Mexico State Capitol Building
Today's New Mexico State Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, is the only round capitol building in the country. It was built by Robert E. McKee with a design by W.C. Kruger that combined elements of New Mexico Territorial style, Pueblo adobe architecture and Greek Revival adaptations. The 232,000 square-foot Roundhouse was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1966.
From a bird's-eye view, the Roundhouse resembles the Zia sun symbol, which is also emblazoned on the New Mexico state flag. The image, which originated at Zia Pueblo, incorporates elements representing the sun's rays, the four directions, the four seasons, and the four phases of life. The State Seal of New Mexico, carved in stone, hangs above each of the Roundhouse's four entrance wings.
The four-story Roundhouse includes a subterranean story and a central interior Rotunda that rises 60 feet through the top three stories. The Rotunda's design elements include New Mexico Travertine marble featuring a turquoise and brass mosaic depicting the New Mexico State Seal. The ceiling skylight of stained glass is patterned after a Native American basket weave symbolizing the sky and the earth.
The Capitol Art Collection includes paintings, sculpture, handcrafted furniture and other work by New Mexico artists and artisans. The Governor's Gallery, located on the fourth floor, was founded by Clare Apodaca, who served as New Mexico's First Lady from 1975 to 1978. The gallery, an outreach facility of the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Department of Cultural Affairs, presents six exhibits per year, including the annual Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts.
For information about guided tours of the New Mexico State Capitol by appointment, call (505) 986-4589 during business hours Monday through Friday. Visitors can take a self-guided tour anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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