Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog


Kansas State Capitol Building

The peonies are blooming here!



Our tour took us to this catwalk on the tallest building (by...

At bottom of photo is the glass inner dome - 75' above...

Stairs first go along the dome, then out to the center, then...

Some views of Topeka from the top.



The building with the "steeple" is not a church - it's the...



First Presbyterian Church

Some photos of the beautiful interior of the Capitol building.



Senate chambers.

Mural depicting "Bleeding Kansas" the tumultous period before the Civil War. Remember...


Looking up at the top of the dome.





The governor of KS.

The governor looks much different than her photo when you see her...



Tiffany windows in the First Presbyterian Church.





(Ron Writing) This morning we left Junction City on I-70 east and then took a scenic route following K-99 south and Hwy. 4 east through the small towns of Alma, Eskridge, Keene, and Dover. This route took us through very scenic ranch land. Everything is so green with the cattle on the rolling hills enjoying the lush grass. This was a very enjoyable drive. This area also has many fences, walls, and buildings constructed from the native limestone.

When we arrived in Topeka we stopped at Sam’s Club for some groceries and then toured the KS State Capitol building. The Capitol is undergoing an extensive renovation that won’t be completed until 2011. Much of the current work is being done on the exterior which is largely covered with scaffolding.

The KS Capitol building is the third highest in the USA at 306 feet and is 11’ higher than the national capitol in WDC. It is also one of the few that allows visitors access to the top of the dome! It has an “inner dome” made up of thick curved glass panels. Seventy five feet above it is the outer dome which is covered with copper. The climb up the 296-step stairway to the top of the dome and then out onto the outdoor catwalk was pretty exciting! Even folks that aren’t normally scared of heights will probably get sweaty feet going up and down. I could not believe Elena headed up and actually made it to the top. Neither could she! Take a look a the photos – when on the stairs you feel like you’re out in open space unable to see anything supporting the stairs.

The Capitol has beautiful marble and wood everywhere you look. We enjoyed the large murals and seeing the governors office and senate chamber. I’m sure the exterior will look better after the renovation is completed.

Across the street from the Capitol building is the First Presbyterian Church. The church was organized in 1859 and the present building was built in 1884. We went to see the wonderful Tiffany windows that were installed in 1911. A member of the church commissioned Louis Tiffany to create these windows using Favrile glass, an invention of Louis Tiffany. It is a glass made without any paint, enamel or stains. The colors were produced by the development of formulas using additives such as cobalt, gold, copper and other metals. Tiffany ordered that these formulas be destroyed after his death. These are the most beautiful stained glass windows we’ve seen. The photos do them no justice. We were told that any one of these windows would bring several million dollars if they were to be sold.

We spent the night parked in the Wal*Mart parking lot.

One year ago today I mowed our lawn in CA for the last time! I have not missed that job the past year.

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