I made a return visit to the Arkansas State Capitol last week when it was fairly quiet there. The halls of the capitol has been decked with all sorts of holiday decorations, but there weren't many people there. Just a few people doing some preparations for the upcoming legislative session were milling about. The workshop where Santa sits in the Rotunda during the month of December was empty, I guess Santa was out adding some of our state legislators to the naughty list.
The capitol was built between 1900 and 1915 and cost around $2 million.
The state capitol is a historic and dignified building. It has been the home some of our state's greatest governors - Dale Bumpers, Bill Clinton, and Win Rockefeller (but also home to some of the worst like Orval Faubus or Mike Huckabee).
One of my favorite bits of history about our State Capitol is that it was used as a filming location for the 1991 cinematic classic Stone Cold, starring Brian Bosworth (although it is embarrassing, since they use our capitol for a film that was set in Mississippi). The climax of the movie has gun fights in the old Supreme Court chambers and motorcycles speeding through the marble halls of the building. At one point a motorcycle is actually shot out of a window from the 4th floor where it hits a helicopter, resulting in a fiery explosion on the capitol grounds. The fire inadvertently caused a magnolia tree to catch fire, which had to be cut down afterwards. But it is kinda amusing to imagine Brian Bosworth running around filming those scenes in the Capitol while Bill Clinton was sitting in the nearby governor's office plotting his upcoming run for the Presidency. It's a shame he didn't pick Bosworth to be his Vice President.