I’d seen the dome in the distance the evening I arrived, and decided to walk over for a closer look the next morning. Or I should say, walk UP. Yep, that Capitol HILL thing. Which was one of those things I wasn’t really thinking of on my way there, as I was more focused on getting where I was going, but then when I got there and turned around heyboydanghowdy! Sweet view!!! Salt Lake City spread out below, and there were mountains to both the east and west, accented by puffy clouds.
A brisk wind snapped the flags about and stood them to attention. I climbed the stairs, and, although it was a Saturday, gave one of the doors a try. What the heck, I’m there. It opened! Inside was quiet and so so still compared to the bluster outside. Like being sucked into a giant cotton ball. Minus all the white fuzzy bits.
A second set of doors let into the main rotunda area. Likewise, unlocked. I let myself in, half expecting a reproach or to be ushered out. No such thing. I proceeded to wander around all four floors and the basement for a good long time, and did not see any guards or official type people the whole time. Much of the time I was there I had the place to myself, although other tourists came in briefly here and there, popping in on the second floor where I had also entered, and (fortunately just as I was about ready to go anyway) a whole busload of noisy ones came in.
The Capitol opened in 1916, and extensive renovation was conducted from 2004 to 2008. The Capitol building is used by the State Legislature, has the office of the Governor and other top state officials, and a ceremonial supreme court chamber.
Being a Saturday, none of the chambers or offices were open, but there was still plenty to look at in the public spaces. Great murals and statues and an amazing space. I particularly enjoyed the peace and quiet of being there on a weekend morning. I couldn’t quite believe I could just walk around, it kinda felt like I was sneaking in to someone’s house, but not in a creepy way, just in an unexpected wow I didn’t think I’d be doing this kinda way. It would be interesting to experience during the week sometime as well, in use with the bustle of government going on, and see the other areas, maybe take the tour and check out the visitors’ center. Even without that, I’m definitely glad I went up to see it – I’d been a bit on the fence, but it was very worth it.