California Capitol Building (Sacramento, California)

Home to the government of California, the California State Capitol building located in Sacramento, California is an example of neoclassical architecture.  Listed with the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, and as a California Historic Landmark since 1975, the building was designed with the United States Capitol building as inspiration.

Entered through a second floor corridor, the California Senate chamber is decorated in red as a reference to the British House of Lords.  Along with the Latin phrase “Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri” (It is the duty of a Senator to protect the liberty of the people), the state seal, and a portrait of George Washington on the wall, the forty members if the senate sit under a reproduction of the original gas chandelier and hand-carved dias caps supported by Corinthian colums.

On the opposite side of the building is the green clad California State Assembly.  Decorated in green based on the British House of Commons, this room is decorated with the Latin phrase “legislatorum est justas leges condere” (It is the duty of legislators to pass just laws).  With the exception of a different quote and color scheme, the two rooms are decorated with nearly identical artwork.

California State Capitol Building Facts

  • Separate statues of the Roman goddess Minerva once overlooked both chambers.
  • Behind the rostrum, there are two red velvet cushioned chairs reserved for the president pro tempore of the senate and the speaker of the assembly.
  • There are 40 acres (16 ha) of gardens in the surrounding Capitol Park, with more than 200 types of trees.
  • The path from the Capitol to the Sutter Club is known as the Earl Warren Walk as he frequently took the path before becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
  • The Capitol and grounds are maintained by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.