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The Preservation Of A Utah Legacy

Evan Hall
Interior of the capitol dome.

On Monday, Governor Gary Herbert and other state leaders celebrated the centennial of Utah’s capitol building. Over 150,000 people visit the Utah capitol building each year. The nearly 10,000 pieces of art and other historical artifacts on display there have been maintained through the Capital Preservation Board since 1998. The board also organizes the thousands of events that happen at the capitol each year. 

Allyson Gamble, Executive Director of the Capitol Preservation Board, said that the demands of keeping the capitol maintained and running are accomplished by a small but dedicated force of employees and volunteers.

“It’s a very small staff—only one full-time person. There are only nine of us. We have 60 volunteer docents that come and take tours for the public to see the beautiful capitol,” Gamble said. “We really care about what we do and we love showing people [around] and being part of the business of the capitol each day.”

One of the most prominent features of the capitol building is its 300-foot uninterrupted corridor. The layout was designed by Richard Kletting to be open and spacious, enhanced by original artwork depicting the state’s history. Visitor Services Manager Emmylou Manwill said that the marble monolithic columns that line the corridor travelled many miles to get to Utah.

“It was outlined by the commission that they wanted to use as much Utah materials and craftsmanship as possible but they really couldn’t beat the value and the price of the Georgia marble,” Manwill said. “So, it was shipped across the country via railway and then local artisans here helped craft the columns into their shape with their decoration.”

The capitol building was completed in 1916.