I'm always looking up, so much so that sometimes I forget to look where I'm going.
I took a photography class at a local community college recently, and we were tasked to create a final photographic project of anything we chose. I chose Hartford's State Capital building, mainly because it was close to work and I could get there during my lunch break. Oh, what a wonderful surprise awaited me! I visited so many times that they knew my face at the main entrance and they knew that the backpack they were scanning contained my camera equipment.
I walked around every public floor and photographed each nook and cranny. I focused my lens on statues, historical displays, carvings in granite, marble and wood, chambers and chairs, beautiful lighting and, oh, so much more!
Our Connecticut State Capital was designed by Richard M. Upjohn, who actually was a cathedral architect. Designed in the High Victorian Gothic style, completed in 1878 and totally restored between 1979 and 1989, she stands majestically atop the hill in Bushnell Park.
The statuary and carvings on the outside of the building are amazingly beautiful and tell much of our great Connecticut history. The carving that interested me the most was the scene depicting Reverend Thomas Hooker's March to Hartford in 1636. My Yankee roots go deep and I had an ancestor make that 100 mile march through the wilderness alongside Hooker. My ancestor was to become an important figure in the founding of Hartford.
Below is a carving of John Winthrop, Jr., our sixth Governor during the 1600's.
I was captivated by the display of Connecticut Civil War regimental battle flags in the Hall of Flags. My great-great-grandfather served in the Connecticut 8th Regiment and sustained two injuries during the Civil War but made it back home. The regimental flag of the 8th Infantry brought him close to me for a moment. Not to be missed are the Marquis de Lafayette's camp bed and Israel Putnam's gravestone, which date from Connecticut's involvement in the Revolutionary War. I had many ancestors who served in that fight for freedom, as well.
However, my favorite views of the Capital building were those above my head.
This is a magnificent skylight surrounded by painted woodwork in the East Atrium.
Below is a photo looking up through the wings of the statue named the Genius of Connecticut. She was created in bronze and adorns the rotunda.
The art deco lighting fixtures are true works of art with their intricate brass work and medallions.
This view of the Capital dome is stunningly beautiful and many people are unaware that it even exists.
So go and visit your magnificent State Capital in Hartford. It belongs to you - the people of Connecticut. Grab a self-guided tour booklet and look carefully at all of the amazing items on display, but most importantly - look up!