Over the past few years, I've been visiting State Capitol buildings throughout the United States. The Colorado State Capitol in Denver represented my 30th capitol visit! Colorado has since been followed by Arizona:
Unfortunately, I didn't visit Colorado at a good time. The State Capitol was experiencing significant reconstruction during my visit. I postponed my visit once before as I was aware that the dome was under repair for a few years. When I learned of the completion of that work, I thought it was safe to visit. But, much of the interior was torn up. Scaffolding was present throughout both the Senate and House of Representatives chambers and much of those rooms were covered with drop cloths. The public had no access to the chambers.
At first, it looked like I would have to settle for a photograph of the exterior of the golden dome as well as one of the staircase in the rotunda:
However, I always participate in the guided tour when I visit a new Capitol. During my tour of the Colorado State Capitol, I picked up a valuable tip that saved the day for my photography. The tour guide told us about Ralph Carr, a former governor of Colorado. Carr stood up for rights of Japanese Americans--who were being discriminated against after Pearl Harbor was attacked in World War II. Many historians believe that Carr's unpopular stance promoting racial tolerance ultimately cost him his political career.
So, how did this story of Ralph Carr save the day for my photography? I also discovered that a building located across the street from the Capitol was named in honor of Carr--the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center.
While I was walking around the Capitol grounds, I decided to take a look inside the Judicial Center. I was stunned by the beauty of the modern architecture of the building. And, I was pleasantly surprised that the security guard granted me full access to the building. For the next couple of hours, I photographed amazing architecture: the rotunda, two courtrooms, and a staircase:
Whatever disappointment that I felt during my visit to the Colorado State Capitol building was more than offset by the amazing photo shoot that followed at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center.