During a recent ‘drive-by’ to Lexington, Kentucky, I decided to take a short (38 minute) drive to Frankfort to photograph the State Capitol. It was definitely a short drive, but it seemed rather long…maybe because of the seemingly back roads GPS sent me through. Anyway, I got there and driving through downtown, I wanted to get out and shoot, but this day my mission is the Capitol Building. The Kentucky State Capitol is located in is the house of the three branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of the state government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From 1792 to 1830, two buildings were used as the capitol, both of which burned completely. In 1830, another capitol was built and was used until 1910. During a bitterly contested 1899 state governor election, Democratic Party claimant William Goebel was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. The need for a larger building for a growing state government resulted in the replacement of that capitol building, which is now a museum operated by the Kentucky Historical Society. In 1904, the Kentucky General Assembly chose Frankfort, rather than Lexington or Louisville as the location for the state capital and appropriated $1 million for the construction of a permanent state capitol building, to be located in southern Frankfort. The official ground-breaking was August 14, 1905 and construction was completed in 1909 at a cost of $1,180,434.80. The building was dedicated on June 2, 1910. The capitol was designed by Frank Mills Andrews, a distinguished and award-winning architect. He used the Beaux-Arts style and included many classical French interior designs. The staircases for example, are replicas of those of the Opera Garnier in Paris.
The floral clock is a landmark located behind the Kentucky State Capitol. Dedicated in May 1961 by Governor Bert T. Combs, the clock was constructed as a joint project between the state government and the Garden Club of Kentucky. The face of the clock measures 34 feet in diameter and is tilted at a 26-degree angle. The word "Kentucky" is spelled out in large letters around the top of the clock. The minute hand is 20 feet long, and the hour hand is 15 feet long; both weigh approximately 500 pounds. The clock face is composed of more than 10,000 flowers, and the planter that holds them weighs 100 short tons. The majority of the flowers consist of Joseph's coat and begonias. All of the flowers used in the clock face are grown in greenhouses near the capitol and owned by the state.