Q: Inside the rotunda at the Kansas Statehouse, you'll find a replica of the massive chandelier that once hung from the capitol dome. What happened to the ORIGINAL chandelier? Was it:
a) Damaged during the Civil War.
b) Stolen by Missourians and never recovered.
c) Donated to a scrap metal drive during World War II.
d) Misplaced and lost during renovation.
A: Donated to a scrap metal drive during World War II
After 13 years of renovation, the Kansas Statehouse has been brought back to its original glory. After construction delays, the top-to-bottom $332 million restoration project finally finished in the spring of 2014, and the building once again became fully-accessible for public tours. It is, arguably, the finest state capitol building in America. If you don't believe us, take a free tour of the building for yourself. Check out the beautiful Kansas Senate and House chambers, the elegant hallways, staircases, artwork, antique (working) cage elevator and the building's "double dome." It is, simply, breathtaking. And, of course, for $330 million...it ought to be!
The Capitol Dome:
Visitors can take a classic 1923 cage elevator to the 5th floor of the statehouse, where tours of the capitol dome begin. From this floor, visitors can climb 296 steps to the top. An amazing chandelier once hung from the dome, high above the rotunda floor. But during World War II, it was donated to a scrap metal drive so it could be melted down and turned into tanks, bullets and other wartime materials. Today, a beautiful replica of the massive chandelier hangs in its place.
Fun Factoid: The capitol dome in Topeka is a full 17 feet taller than the dome on top of the nation's capitol building. Take that, Washington, D.C.!
Check out more on the Kansas State Capitol Dome Tour HERE.