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California State Capitol Museum

California State Capitol Museum
Map showing the location of California State Capitol Museum
Location Sacramento County, California, USA
Nearest city Sacramento, California
Area 40 acres (16 ha)
Established 1982
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

The California State Capitol Museum comprises a museum in and grounds around the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California, USA. The building has been the home of the California State Legislature since 1869. The building underwent a major renovation, known as the California State Capitol Restoration, from 1975 until 1982 to restore the Capitol to its former beauty and to retrofit the structure for earthquake safety. Although not generally considered earthquake country, Sacramento was hit by two earthquakes within days of each other in 1892 which damaged the Capitol.[1] The State Capitol Museum has been a property in the California state park system since 1982.[2]


  • Capitol Museum 1
  • Capitol Park 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Capitol Museum

While the entire building may be considered a museum, the heart of the Capitol Museum can be found on the basement and first floor of the original section of the building. In the basement can be found the tour office (B-27), a small theater showing several short films on the history of the Capitol, the gift shop, and the Arthur Mathews mural, the "History of California." On the first floor, visitors can tour the restored historic offices of the Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Governor of California, as well as two rotating exhibit rooms. In the center of the rotunda stands the marble statue, "Columbus' Last Appeal to Queen Isabella," sculpted by Larkin Mead and given to California by banker and philanthropist D.O. Mills in 1883. The museum offers self-guided and guided tours (normally on the hour), and a chance to see the legislature at work when it is in session.

Capitol Park

There are 40 acres (16 ha) of gardens in the surrounding Capitol Park, including trees and shrubs from around the world. There are approximately 1140 trees in the park (not including shrubs) representing over 200 types of trees.

The grounds also feature approximately 155 memorials to significant events and people involving California, and other points-of-interest. Only a selection are listed below, grouped by section, roughly from west to east (9th Street to 15th Street), and then from north (L Street) to south (N Street) within each section:

Between 9th and 10th streets:

  • The Earl Warren Walk, dedicated to the former Governor and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, marks the path he wore on his walks from the Capitol to the Sutter Club.
  • El Soldado Tribute to Mexican American Soldiers[3] of World War II, created at the behest of the Sociedad de Madres Mexicanas, Gold Star mothers.
  • The California Peace Officer's Memorial, honoring those officers who have died in the line of duty and remembering those they left behind.

Between 10th and 11th streets:

  • California Registered Historical Landmark No. 872, denoting the Capitol Complex as landmark.
  • The Great Seal of the State of California, cast in bronze and placed at the west steps in 1952, was followed by the Native American and Spanish-Mexican Commemorative seals in 2002.
  • The Capitol Cornerstone, near the north entrance, placed in 1978 to replace the original 1861 cornerstone.
  • The Apollo 14 Moon Tree, planted as a sapling in 1976 that was grown from a seed (among hundreds) carried by command module pilot Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission.
  • The Sisters of Mercy Memorial, honoring the religious order which arrived in Sacramento in 1857 to care for the children of miners and to serve the sick and homeless. The land they purchased for the site of a school eventually became the site of the Capitol.
  • The September 11 Memorial, including a plaque and three rose bushes, dedicated on the one year anniversary of the attacks.
  • The California Civil War Veterans plaque, located at the east entrance, dedicated in 1963 to California veterans of that conflict.
  • The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Marker, placed in 1888, is located at 38°34'35"N by 121°29'33"W.
  • The Senator Capitol Kitty Memorial, remembering the beloved feline resident of Capitol Park.

Between 11th and 12th streets:

Between 13th and 14th streets:

Between 14th and 15th streets:

  • The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, with life-size bronze figures of service men and women depicting military life in Vietnam and featuring engravings of names of Californians killed or missing in action.[7]
  • The World Peace Rose Garden, a 0.42 acre garden with about 650 roses in over 140 varieties of colors and fragrances on display.
  • The California Native Plant Section, created in 1911 with the efforts of the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, planted almost exclusively with flora native to the state.

See also


  1. ^ "More Terrestrial Chills – Sacramento Shivers Again, But Not Damaged to Any Extent". The Sacramento Union. April 22, 1892. p. 3. "The Capitol was given a lively shaking, in the course of which a small portion of one of the plaster statuettes tumbled off and the Assembly chamber ceiling cracked. Of course, there was a general exodus of State officials and clerks, too."
  2. ^ "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks. p. 16. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  3. ^ "CalVet – Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee". Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ California Indian Grinding Rock
  5. ^ California Firefighters Memorial
  6. ^ "Memorials". Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "California Vietnam Veterans Memorial". Retrieved February 27, 2012. 

External links

  • California Firefighters Memorial
  • California Peace Officer's Memorial
  • California State Capitol Museum
  • California State Parks' State Capitol Museum page
  • California Indian Grinding Rock
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