In 1900, Governor Andrew Longino convinced the legislature that Mississippi needed a New Capitol building. Financed with one million dollars of back taxes owed by the railroads, and built on the site of the old state penitentiary, the project began.
St. Louis architect Theodore Link borrowed from different classical traditions in his lavish Beaux Arts design. For the rotunda, he combined black marble from upstate New York with beautiful white marble from Italy. The Senate and House chambers feature domes of Bohemian stained glass. Link also used what was then a very modern element: hundreds of exposed electric light bulbs.
The New Capitol opened on June 3, 1903. Today it attracts visitors from all over, some to enjoy its architecture, and some to get a sense of our state’s history. If you haven’t visited the state capitol recently, do yourself a favor. Come see where history is made.
For more interesting facts about Mississippi's 200-year history, watch a new interstitial each week of 2017 with Mississippi: A Thread through Time on MPB TV.