The Arizona Capitol Museum & Guild offers special tours of the Capitol building and the beautiful grounds surrounding it. These tours are different than the excellent tours that groups receive when visiting the museum. In the Building and Grounds tour participants learn about the construction of the Territorial Capitol, the development of the grounds surrounding it, and how this story relates to the development of Arizona, and to the City of Phoenix.
The tour begins outside where we learn how the Capitol area went from an alfalfa field, to a lush green park, that Phoenicians visited by trolley, years before the Territorial Capitol was constructed. The tour then moves inside where we examine the architecture of this iconic building, designed by James Riely Gordon, and the many alterations made to it over the years. We uncover the story of how it was preserved and transformed into the wonderful museum, and one of Phoenix’s famous Points of Pride, we all appreciate today.
On the tour you will learn the answers to such questions as: Why wasn’t the dome actually made of copper originally? What plans had been made over the years that would have drastically altered the building and grounds we see today? Which features were included in the original design of the Capitol intended to keep it cooler in the days before airconditioning? Why did the Capitol grounds have a Chinese bamboo forest? and, Were there really bullet holes found in Winged Victory?
This tour helps us understand the present by explaining our past. It takes 45 minutes to an hour. There is no charge for the tour; however, contributions made to the museum’s donation box are gratefully appreciated!