Iowa’s first state capitol re-opened this week with a new shine after a month-long cleaning and restoration project. Shalla Wilson is assistant manager of the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City, where she says it’s been a busy month.Besides sprucing up all of the wood in the landmark structure, a crew was brought in to put a new shine on the chandeliers. Wilson says the Old Capitol now includes an expanded library of a thousand historic books, on subjects including politics, science, religion and poetry.Old Capitol was Iowa’s first territorial capitol with the first legislative session held there in December of 1842. It was also Iowa’s first state capitol when Iowa became a state in 1846 and it served as the home of state government until the capitol was moved to Des Moines in 1857. Wilson says it makes the gold-domed building a popular tourist attraction.She says Old Capitol draws about 30-thousand visitors a year.
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