Capitol of the Commonwealth

| tralev | frankfort | books |

Exploring the 120 year history of Kentucky's Statehouse.

Nestled in the bluegrass hills of Kentucky, where there river forms an “S”, a massive monument overlooks the sleepy Capital of the commonwealth. The fourth and final building to be known as the State Capitol is the result of nearly a decade’s worth of planning, design, and manual labor. Through artwork, sculptures, and a collection of artifacts, the building celebrates the history of the state and serves as a beacon of hope for the future generations of Kentuckians.


KENTUCKY’S STATE CAPITOL By David L. Buchta 128 pp. Arcadia Publishing $22 Historic photojournalism documenting the development of Kentucky’s State Capitol. 


In “Kentucky’s State Capitol” which is a part of the “Images of America” series, David L. Buchta takes us on a journey through the history of this spectacular building. Starting with a brief history of the state itself, and the several buildings that preceded the one that stands today, Buchta dives into the planning, construction, and cultural impact of the Capitol.

After breaking ground in 1905, the capitol was completed and officially opened in the summer of 1910. It quickly became the pride of Frankfort and one of the most impressive buildings in the entire state. The completion of the adjacent Governor’s mansion in 1915 made the entire capitol complex all the more beautiful.

When we visited the capitol in the winter of 2016 it was undergoing another round of renovation. Scaffolding covered the entire face of the building and unfortunately it was not possible to enter. Through reading this book, Buchta served as a sort of private tour guide that took me behind the scenes of this building. My favorite parts of the book were the detailed descriptions of the meaning behind the murals and sculptures both inside and outside of the building. I learned a lot more from Buchta than I would have if I simply entered the building on my own and looked around.

In true “Images of America” fashion, Buchta’s book is full of historic photographs and well researched commentary that pays tribute to the people whose lives were touched by this building.

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