The second floor of the Capitol is described as the "grand floor" by the Historical Society. This is the level that houses the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives and the Senate Chambers. All of these areas are richly appointed with dark woods, golden embellishments, detailed murals and solid hardwares of yesteryear.
I decided to explore the West Corridor first leading me to the Senate room.
This area is gated and locked. Fortunately the bars are wide enough that I can get my camera lens through them enabling some images to be captured but only one view of the room can be made, for the most part.
Turning directly around from this gate provides a spectacular view.
If we were on the first floor, the corridors would be adorned with Governors' portraits. On the second floor, the hallways feature quotes about proper governing principles leaving me wondering where those missing paintings are located. These are very thought-provoking if one takes time to stop and consider them. If you are in a rush, then photographing them is a great idea so you can read and consider them later when you return home. I often do that when I am visiting somewhere and don't want to take the time to read something at that moment but I am interested in what it says. Let's look at some of them now.
But what about those missing portraits? A quick stop by the information desk answered my question and provided me with a single sheet of paper listing every portrait (wish I would have asked earlier), the year each governor held office, who painted it, and the year it was painted. Information people are always amazing! They told me that there should not be any gaps in the portraits so let's see. Well, after comparing their list to mine, I find that I am missing portraits of Winfield S. Hammond who only held office for one year in 1915 and Theodore Christianson who was in office from 1925-1931. It is possible I have unearthed a mystery but it is more likely that I missed them somehow so will have to look on a return trip.
They also said that it is standard procedure to have a governor's portrait commissioned after the term is over. So our current governor, Mark Dayton, will have his portrait done when he is out of office. That explains why I couldn't find it.
Continuing on then through the building brings one to the Minnesota Supreme Court. This room is opened for tours and otherwise the greeting is another locked gate.
The area immediately outside the entrance prominently displays the bust of an important Minnesota native in U.S. judicial history: Warren Burger.
Turning around provides another breath-taking view of this level.
And another corridor filled with quotes on jurisprudence for contemplation.
If you happened to notice that there is one more plaque in this hallway than the previous hallway, you are right. It is because there is a quote directly outside the MN Supreme Court on the wall opposite where Warren Burger's statue is located.
The last area to explore on this floor is the House of Representatives. For anyone from the public, the best way to view this room is from the gallery on the 3rd floor, as the 2nd floor perspective is through another locked gate.
Now that all the corridors have been visited, there are only 2 areas left to mention. The first is what would be the South Corridor if there was one. Instead on this floor it is a balcony which I imagine could host some wonderful events except that it is in need of repair.
And last but not least is the 2nd floor view into the Rotunda. This space provides a different experience on each level of the Capitol and they are all fabulous!
Thank you for viewing this blog and for those of you who have been waiting, next week it is time to talk about the animals at the Minnesota State Fair. I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer and first crisp days of fall.
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I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.