Arizona Capitol Museum
The last home for Arizona’s Territorial government, the Arizona State Capitol is now maintained as the Arizona Capitol Museum. The museum events, programs, and exhibits focus on the development of the Arizona from Territory to State. Guests are able to enter the Historic House Camber where the Arizona Constitution was written. They can also view the 140 changes in the Arizona Constitution in the 102 years of statehood. There’s also a wax figure of the state’s First Governor, the silver and copper punchbowl service from the USS Arizona, a collection of gifts as part of the “Merci Train” from France after World War II, and much more interesting displays.
The Arizona State Capitol was created as an effort to show that the Arizona Territory was ready for statehood. Construction began in 1898 and opened in 1901 just west of downtown Phoenix. Originally the building had a total square footage of 40,000 and later expanded to 123,000. The building housed the Legislature until 1960 then in 1981 the original structure turned into the museum it stands as today.
The Capitol Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and tries to keep it’s historic appeal. The mission of the museum is to educate individuals about Arizona’s Past and Present Government. They do this by preserving its authenticity- in other words, no flat panels, no audiovisual learning, just original, tangible history.
The museum today is open September through May Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The capitol is closed on Sundays and state holidays and is free admission! Go to http://www.azlibrary.gov/museum/ for more information