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Old Capitol Building

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Identification

Old Capitol Building
Old Thurston County Court House
128935

Map

Structure in General

low-rise building
existing [completed]
sandstone
romanesque revival

Usages

governmental office

Facts

  • In 1928 a fire damaged the building.
  • This building served as the Thurston County Courthouse until the panic of 1893 forced the county to sell the building to the State of Washington.
  • Built out of Chuckanut sandstone, it was originally topped by eight turrets and a central, eight-sided clock tower that could be seen from all over town.
  • Renovated and seismically upgraded from 1981-1983 by Tonkin, Hoyne, Lokan Architecture & Urban Design.
  • Willis A. Ritchie was commissioned to design a new east wing to accommodate the legislature and additional state offices that was competed in 1905.
  • The state bought the big stone courthouse for $350,000 in 1901, then served as the Washington State Capitol from 1901 till 1927.
  • The 1949 earthquake destroyed the central clock rotunda and 10 of the 12 conical shaped towers located around the building. This is the same earthquake that damaged the dome and cupola in the new Capitol.
  • It was sensitively renovated in 1993 and currently houses the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

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More Information

Location

South Capitol Way
98501
Olympia
Washington
U.S.A.

Technical Data

49.10 ft
4
1
1891
1892

Involved Companies

Willis A. Ritchie

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Features & Amenities

  • City landmark
  • National landmark
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