About the Virginia Capitol

The Capitol of Virginia was designed in 1785 by Thomas Jefferson with help from Charles Louis Clerisseau while Jefferson was serving as U. S. Minister to France. The Virginia General Assembly occupied the Capitol in 1788 and members of the Virginia executive and judicial branches moved into the building in 1789. It is the first American State Capitol designed after the Revolutionary War and the first public building in the New World to be constructed in the form of a classical Roman temple. The east wing for the House of Delegates and the west wing for the Senate of Virginia were opened in 1906 and remain in use by lawmakers today

The Virginia State Capitol - Thomas Jefferson's \
The Virginia State Capitol - Thomas Jefferson's "Temple to Democracy"

Virginia's executive and judicial officers are now located in other buildings nearby.

From 2004 to 2007 the historic Capitol was restored, renovated and expanded. Original exterior brickwork and interior woodwork were carefully preserved and early 20th-century decorations were recreated in prominent public spaces. Useable square footage was enlarged by more than one-third by means of a new 27,000 square foot underground extension in front of the existing building. The Capitol extension contains a gift shop, exhibit space, public restrooms, a café and multipurpose meeting rooms. The historic Capitol contains an extensive collection of paintings and sculpture, including an original statue of George Washington done from life by Jean-Antoine Houdon.

  1. History Origins of the Commonwealth's Capitol Building
  2. Three Capital Cities Locations for Virginia's capitals, 1607 - present
  3. Architecture Design that has inspired countless U.S. landmarks
  4. Capitol Square The Capitol's historic grounds