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House of Delegates:
The House adjourned sine die at 6:36 p.m. on April 20, 2016. (4/20/16)

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The Senate adjourned at 7:26 p.m. (4/20/16)

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Capitol Square Fair This Saturday

Virginia Capitol Square Preservation Council is pleased to host the Virginia Capitol Square Fair a community outreach and education event on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is in partnership with non-profit and public educators to offer families and visitors an array of history and conservation learning opportunities and to explore Virginia’s history and the natural environment. This event is free and open to the public and located on the historic grounds of the State Capitol to celebrate the Bicentennial of Capitol Square. Free parking is provided for all visitors in the 14th and Main parking deck (Lot 13).

Partners across the commonwealth will highlight their important work by providing engaging, SOL-based activities for children and families. While this event is focused on the outdoors, the Virginia State Capitol will be open for tours and self-guided opportunities. Visitors will have the opportunity to talk with Thomas Jefferson on why he designed the Capitol the way he did, hear Patrick Henry’s famous speech, and walk the historic grounds with Maggie Walker. Along with our special guests, visitors will participate in a Capitol Police equipment and K9 demonstration, discover how you can maintain a healthy habitat in your own backyard, discover artifacts in an archeological dig and so much more! Bring the whole family to participate in exciting activities from The Valentine, National Park Service, Children’s Museum of Richmond, John Marshall House, Montpeleier, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Henricus, The Division Capitol Police Commonwealth of Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Mansion, and more!

We encourage all students, teachers, and visitors to come and enjoy the Virginia Capitol Square Fair. Please contact the Capitol Square Preservation Council Education Coordinator, Maggie Jackson, with any questions by phone at (804) 225-8051 or by email.

Repairs complete on Washington Equestrian Monument

About the Repairs

It has been 30 years since the monument’s last restoration effort, and during that time water had infiltrated the masonry and interior of the monument. Cleaning, repair, and restoration were required to stabilize and preserve the historic monument. Contractors patched, reset, and replaced damaged pieces on the exterior and, on the interior, removed, restored and replaced the spiral stairs which were damaged by rain water coming in through the cupola. A new cupola with louvres instead of a screen was installed and is expected to keep future water damage from occurring.

George Washington Equestrian Monument (1858)

A large equestrian statue of George Washington (February 22, 1732- December 14, 1799) atop a granite pedestal was conceived to honor Washington and to glorify Virginia's contributions to the nation's independence. Virginia's role in the Revolution is depicted by six of her sons surrounding the figure of General Washington, who is dressed in a military uniform. Smaller allegorical figures below the six pedestrian statues are inscribed with themes reflecting each patriot's contribution: Andrew Lewis, Colonial Times; Patrick Henry, Revolution; George Mason, Bill of Rights; Thomas Jefferson, Independence; Thomas Nelson, Jr., Finance; and John Marshall, Justice.

In 1849, the Virginia General Assembly held an architectural competition and selected a design by Thomas Crawford, an American sculptor working in Rome. The design Crawford submitted largely conforms to the completed George Washington Equestrian Monument in place today with its base in the shape of a star fort and the three-tiered pedestal for sculptural figures. The stonework of the base was complete by 1854. Discussions repeatedly took place to relocate the remains of Washington there, but his heir Bushrod Washington refused the request. The hope of making Capitol Square Washington's last resting place became a symbolic hope, and Crawford's design includes a cenotaph, or symbolic tomb, in the stone base.

Crawford finished the sculptures of Washington, Jefferson, and Henry. He had the George Washington Equestrian statue cast in Munich, Germany shortly before his death in 1857. His American colleague, Randolph Rogers, completed the statues of Mason, Marshall, Nelson, and Lewis, as well as the allegorical figures, the last of which was put into place in 1869.

A United States frigate transported the equestrian figure to Richmond. A group of men and boys hauled the statue to Capitol Square from Rocketts Landing, breaking down a section of fence in the process. Charles Dimmock, an engineer, rigged an ingenious wooden derrick to hoist the statue onto the base, and legend has it he threatened workers at gunpoint when they appeared to be letting go of the rope. The unveiling of the statue was an event of national importance, which took place on Washington's birthday, February 22, 1858. The statue was one of Richmond's most prominent attractions. The Commonwealth erected a cast-iron fence around the base in the 1870s to prevent visitors from climbing on the base. [National Park Service]

New Exhibit at the State Capitol

The Virginia General Assembly, in partnership with the Capitol Square Preservation Council, presents an exhibit in the east exhibit gallery of the Virginia State Capitol entitled, A Stand for Peace: Winston Churchill and the Call for Unity. Opening on the 70th anniversary of Churchill’s historic March 8, 1946, address to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House Chamber, this exhibit uses photographs and the words of participants and observers to look at the events of that significant day at the dawn of the Cold War era.

Download brochure for the event with information and times.

Directions to the Virginia State Capitol can are available.

House and Senate Live Video of 2016 Sessions

The Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia offer live streaming video of the 2016 Legislative Sessions, when each body convenes for session. The adjourn and convene times are tweeted, #vahouse and #vasenate.

Monument to the Achievements of the Women of Virginia to be Installed on Virginia's Capitol Square

Conceptual rendering of the monument ©EISStudio and 1717 Design Group

RICHMOND – 3/28/13 The Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission announced the selection of the winning design for the Women's Monument to be placed on the grounds of Virginia's Capitol Square in Richmond. Thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, the Monument will commemorate the collective contributions of the women of Virginia throughout the past 400 years of its storied history. Prominently placed and respectfully integrated into the historic Capitol landscape, the Monument's oval-garden design includes elements of sculpture and landscaping that will provide visitors an interactive and educational experience. Out of 34 designs submitted from around the world, the Commission unanimously selected the winning design by StudioEIS of Brooklyn, New York and The 1717 Design Group, Inc. of Richmond, Virginia. Today’s decision was announced in conjunction with the Library of Virginia's annual Virginia Women in History awards celebration.

Legacy of Virginia Indians honored on Capitol Square

3d model of the "Mantle" monument ©Alan Michelson

RICHMOND – 10/25/12 Citizens of Virginia are one step closer to having a permanent monument on historical Capitol Square, celebrating the legacy of the Commonwealth’s Indian tribes. Last Wednesday evening the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission approved by acclamation the final design to commemorate the many contributions of the Virginia Indians.

The consensus proposal, titled Mantle, consists of spiral elements, a winding footpath, a wall that doubles as a bench for seating, native plant species indigenous to Virginia, and at the center a reflecting pool containing the names of Virginia’s Indian tribes. Alan Michelson, a Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River, is an award winning artist, living in New York City. “(Mantle) requires the visitor to neither look up nor look down, but invites one to enter—from the east—and participate in it. It is not conceived as a static monument to be venerated but an active one to be experienced by moving off the everyday grid and into the American Indian circle.”

Images of the model may be found on the Commission's Facebook page.

"Keepers of the Flame" film now showing at the Capitol

Capitol visitors can learn more about Virginia’s central role in American history, thanks to a new film, Keepers of the Flame, produced by the Virginia Capitol Foundation with assistance from actor, filmmaker, and Virginia native Tim Reid. The 20-minute visually-interactive film is available for viewing seven days a week during regular Capitol tour hours.

NOTE: As Richmond's Capitol building is a working one, there may be times when the venues for viewing the film may be occupied for official state or legislative meetings. If you are wishing to see the film at a specific time, it is recommended to call (804) 698-1788 to check on its availability.

The film features compelling stories of individuals who have made an impact on Virginia history – from well-known figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to High School Student Barbara Johns who proved that everyone can make a difference. This film, coupled with the Capitol’s ongoing educational programs and exhibits, tells the story of Virginia’s representative government and celebrates the Commonwealth’s central role in American history with a goal of inspiring viewers to appreciate and become involved with public service.

Download the Keepers of the Flame Activity Book here.
Activity Book Download

Keepers of the Flame can be seen at regular intervals during visiting hours of the Virginia State Capitol in the new Capitol extension.

The film is also available within the Virginia General Assembly Website.

See more information about visting the Capitol in person or receive help with scheduling a group visit, by calling (804) 698-1788 to verify daily tour schedules and make group tour appointments for groups of 10 or more.

A new "Keepers of the Flame" Activity Book is now available for download. The film and Student Activity Book correlate with the 2008 History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Studies. The activity book was created by Tanya Siwik, a Fairfax County Public Schools teacher, in collaboration withBetsy Barton, Specialist for History and Social Science for the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Education.

26th Joint Commemorative Session of the Virginia General Assembly

Williamsburg, Virginia - January 30, 2016

On Saturday, January 30, 2016, the General Assembly of Virginia held the 26th commemorative session at the historic Capitol building in Colonial Williamsburg. These sessions are a recognition of Virginia’s legislature as the oldest continuous legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1619.

A highlight of each commemorative session is an address on a current issue facing Virginia, the United States, or the world. For this session, the president of William & Mary, Taylor Reveley, titled his remarks, “In the beginning was Virginia, and Virginia led.”

You can find more information in the commemorative program, and see photos of this event in our 2016 Commemorative Session photo album on Flickr.

2016 Usage Guidelines for the Capitol Campus

The Virginia Capitol, one of the most historic structures in the Western Hemisphere, every year welcomes thousands of Virginia citizens and visitors from around the country and throughout the world. The Virginia Capitol is unique among historic sites because it also is a working government building. It is important to respect and safeguard the historic nature of the Capitol as well as preserve the public’s access to their government without impeding the day-to-day operations of state government and the conduct of the people’s business.

In accordance with local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations, interim rules regarding the Capitol and the House and Senate galleries have been established jointly by the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate at the direction of the General Assembly’s Committee on Joint Rules.

Groups interested in holding an event on Capitol Square will need a permit. Please see the Commonwealth of Virginia's Division of Engineering and Buildings (DEB) webpage.

Related Content / FAQs Tips

Q:Where is the Virginia State Capitol?
A:The Capitol is located in Richmond, VA, near the Broad Street exit off of I-95. The physical address is 1000 Bank Street Richmond, VA 23219. For specific directions, please call (804) 698-1788 or see our visitor information for details.
Q:Is the Capitol accessible for visitors with special needs?
A:The Capitol and GAB are both ADA compliant. See more about accessibility.
Q:How can I tell if the House or Senate are in Session?
A:The "Current Chamber Status" of the House and Senate can be viewed from this helpful link, as well as by the video streams for the House and Senate.
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A:A session calendar of legislative deadlines, dates, and times along with the corresponding procedural resolution is available at our Session Schedules page.
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A:You can find out who your legislators are by using our "Who's My Legislator?" service. Tips on communicating with your legislators are available.
Q:How do I research an issue or piece of legislation that is important to me?
A:There are several ways to track a bill. Our Citizen Involvement page also contains a broad overview of the different ways citizens can participate in the legislative process.
Q:Where are Senate of Virginia and Virginia House of Delegates member offices?
A:We offer Capitol office listings for Senate and House members. These offices are used almost exclusively during the legislative session, while each member usually maintains a local office in the district closer to their constituents.
Q:I live far away from the Capitol. How can I learn more about the historic building and campus without visiting?
A:Visit us virtually, with our Virginia State Capitol virtual tours website.
Q:Does this website offer Civics Education materials for students and/or adults?
A:Yes, we have educational staff along with sites to inform and encourage learning about the legislative process, the Capitol building, and Civics Education in general. Please visit our Capitol Classroom section for more information.
Q:Where is the help section on this website?
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Current Events at the Capitol

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At the Capitol

  • The Capitol Square Fair is This Saturday! Read More »
  • Repairs Complete on George Washington Equestrian Monument on Capitol Square Read More »
  • House and Senate Live Video of 2016 Sessions Read More »
  • New Exhibit at the State Capitol Read More »
  • Achievements of the Women of Virginia Monument coming to Capitol Square Read More »
  • Legacy of Virginia Indians honored on Capitol Square Read More »
  • New film, "Keepers of the Flame" now showing at the Capitol Read More »
  • See the Capitol Usage Policies for 2016. Read More »

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