More about Hawaii State Capitol

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Stuffy white columns and boob-like domes are too generic for Hawaii, instead this state capitol is truly unique and beautiful.

Built around a central, open-air courtyard it is just bursting with cultural references:

  • Surrounded by a reflecting pool representing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Plagued with algae growth, the pool now represents ocean pollution.

  • The 2 legislative chambers are shaped like the inside of a cone volcano making it the best place to play “the floor is lava” with your 5-year-old cousin.

  • The 8 columns on each side of the building are shaped like palm trees and represent the 8 main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago.

  • Houses statues of Queen Liliuokalani (Hawaii’s last queen), Father Damien (lived and died among lepers), a replica of the Liberty Bell, and a 600,000 piece green and blue mosaic with a single red tile.

Home of what may be the world’s only controversial bench, a 1997 renovation brought in costly koa wood benches (a Hawaiian luxury) to cradle the asses of local politicians in the chambers. Between relocation, building, and furnishings, the renovation is estimated to have cost the state around $100 million. Tax payers were pissed. As if this wasn’t enough, a 2001 scandal revealed that a Department of Accounting and General Services employee (of the year…4 years in a row) had laundered up to $20,000 from the renovation and other state projects.

Located in the heart of downtown Honolulu, the Capitol is within comfortable walking distance of Iolani Palace, the Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu Chinatown, City Hall, the Hawaii State Library, and pretty much all of the coolest historical buildings in Honolulu. Oh, and unlike that $15 Waikiki Mai Tai, it’s completely free.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Hawaii State Capitol

The Hawaii State Capitol is the official statehouse or capitol building of the U.S. state of Hawaii. From its chambers, the executive and legislative branches perform the duties involved in governing the state. The Hawaii State Legislature—composed of the twenty-five member Hawaii State Senate led by the President of the Senate and the fifty-one member Hawaii State House of Representatives led by the Speaker of the House—convenes in the building. Its principal tenants are the Governor of Hawaii and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, as well as all legislative offices and the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Located in downtown Honolulu, the Hawaii State Capitol was commissioned and dedicated by John A. Burns, second Governor of Hawaii. It opened on March 15, 1969, replacing the former statehouse, the ʻIolani Palace.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Hawaii State Capitol