I visited 28 State Capitol buildings in the past two years. While visiting the Capitols, I am often asked which one is my favorite. Earlier on in this process, a wise tour guide once told me that the correct answer to this question is the Capitol that I'm currently visiting!
While visiting the Iowa Capitol, I hesitated slightly before answering that question from the Iowa State Capitol tour guide. One of the other tourists quickly reminded me that "Iowa" is the correct answer.
Iowa certainly has an impressive State Capitol and I enjoyed my visit to Des Moines very much. However, it's not my favorite Capitol building. In my opinion, the Iowa Capitol tries a little too hard to be majestic. It features a little too much shiny gold and has a few too many light bulbs inside the interior dome--probably more appropriate for a theater marquee. And, is it really necessary to try to outdo the other Capitols by having five domes instead of just one? Although, I must concede that the Law Library of the Iowa Capitol is one of the most impressive rooms inside any State Capitol.
Most of the State Capitols have much in common. Generally, there is a grand entrance, an impressive rotunda, a beautiful interior dome, murals depicting important events in the history of the state, a Senate and House chamber, a Supreme Court chamber, interesting sculptures, etc. On the other hand, the Capitols are also unique. For example, New Mexico doesn't have a dome and looks more like a contemporary art museum. North Dakota resembles a large office building. Nebraska has interesting corridors below the ground floor.
My least favorite Capitol to date is a relatively easy choice. In my opinion, Nevada is the least impressive of the buildings that I've photographed so far--although I enjoyed my visit to Carson City as a whole. The Nevada State Capitol building is very small. It's so small that it no longer houses the Senate, House or Supreme Court Chambers. Those chambers were moved to a different facility. The original House and Senate chambers are still located on the upper floor of the Capitol. But, one was sitting empty while the other housed a few exhibits. I was hard pressed to create a set of interesting photographs during my visit to the Nevada State Capitol.
Given that I find each Capitol to be unique, it's difficult to choose a favorite. However, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Kentucky and Montana are certainly considerations. Others were very enjoyable to photograph--Michigan, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Oregon.