Capitol Sites

State Capitol
The North Carolina State Capitol has remained virtually unchanged in appearance since its completion in 1840. Designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Davis of New York, it is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival civic architecture standing in America today. It contains its original 1840 legislative furniture, constructed by a local cabinetmaker, and is preserved by the State of North Carolina as a historic shrine. Many political and social events have taken place in these chambers, among them the Secession Convention of 1861; the Constitutional Conventions of 1865, 1868, and 1875; and the impeachment of Governor William W. Holden in 1871. Admission is free.

State Legislative Building
The home of the North Carolina General Assembly is unique in that it is devoted solely to the legislative branch of state government. The architect for the building was Edward Durrell Stone. Completed in January 1963, the building is classical in character. Rising from a broad 340-foot wide podium of North Carolina granite, the marble-faced building proper is encompassed by a colonnade of square columns reaching from the podium to the main roof of the second floor.

From the main entrance, the red-carpeted staircase leads directly to the third floor where visitors may view the Senate and House chambers. In addition to the chambers, the State Legislative Building includes members' offices, committee rooms, an auditorium, press facilities, administrative offices, and a cafeteria. A special feature of the building is the four garden courts located at the four corners of the first floor. Free Admission

North Carolina Museum of History
The North Carolina Museum of History has championed the state's history for more than 100 years. The museum tells the stories of generations of North Carolinians, as well as those of recent arrivals. It presents long term and changing exhibitions that include artifacts and photographs, along with audiovisual and hands-on components. An exciting calendar of programs and activities provides people of all ages a chance to experience North Carolina's rich heritage. The Museum Shop offers a wide selection of North Carolina-related items including pottery, books, toys, jewelry, and textiles. Admission is free. Capital Area Visitor Information is now located in the museum lobby.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences offers four floors of nature fun! The largest natural history museum in the Southeast provides an up-close look at the wonders of North Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dinosaurs, whale skeletons, live animals, and more provide a great way for kids and adults to get to know the state's natural history and global connections. Enjoy live animal shows, see high-definition nature films, shop at the Museum Store, or grab a tasty meal in the Acro Café. The museum is open seven days a week, and admission is free.

Executive Mansion
The North Carolina Executive Mansion, designed by prominent architect Samuel Sloan, is one of the state's architectural gems and serves as a repository for a fine collection of 18th- and 19th-century North Carolina furnishings and paintings. Completed in 1891, the house has been home to the governors and their families, as well as a political, social, and cultural center of the state, for over 100 years. The house is one of the few executive mansions in the nation built specifically for that purpose. Admission is free. Tours are seasonal.

North Carolina Museum of Art
Enjoy splendid exhibitions of world-renowned masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary art. Stroll among the tomb treasures of the ancient Egyptians and sculptures of the gods and emperors of Rome. The museum's collections offer a magnificent survey of European art from the early Renaissance to impressionism and American art from colonial portraiture to the challenging art of our own time. Galleries are also devoted to the art of Africa and the ancient Americas, as well as a glittering collection of Jewish ceremonial art. Step inside a cloud chamber and wonder at a whirligig in the 160-acre Museum Park, or picnic with friends before a summer outdoor concert or movie. Your Museum of Art offers shopping, dining, family fun, special exhibitions, and one of the premier art collections in the Southeast. Admission is free.

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