Arizona State Capitol

Completed: 1974

Stock Photo

The current house and senate buildings were constructed in 1960 and form a plaza on the east side of the old 1900 Capitol building.  The Governor's Office remained in the Old Capitol until 1974, when the executive tower was built.   As Arizona's population has grown, the Capitol complex itself has become increasingly crowded. The Senate and House buildings have been deteriorating. The Senate in particular is prone to constant plumbing problems, and occasionally a broken pipe floods the entire building. The Capitol itself is now used exclusively as a museum, and serves over 60,000 visitors each year, including more than 30,000 school children. In addition, many complaints have been made that the current site is not pleasing aesthetically, and compare the Senate and House buildings as oversized "bunkers" which eclipse the beauty of the Capitol. A task force appointed by the state legislature in 2007 reported that the complex is "barely" adequate to suit the state's current needs and "wholly" inadequate to suit the state's future needs.  As a result, proposals are now being made to renovate or rebuild the Capitol site, to a grander site, as well as a site that will serve the needs of the government more adequately.

Recent proposals are for relocating some office and meeting space back into the Capitol, while it maintains at least some function as a museum. The House and Senate buildings have been recommended to undergo either a drastic rebuilding and expansion, or a complete demolition and construction of new facilities for the House and Senate. A recent Arizona State University study planned a comprehensive redesign for the entire Capitol mall and complex.

On January 14, 2010, the Arizona State Department of Administration reported that it had sold the surrounding state buildings surrounding the Old Capitol to private investors: the tower, the two flanking legislative buildings, and other state structures. The Old Capitol was not part of this transaction.


ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Spanish interpretation of "arizuma," an Aztec Indian word meaning "silver-bearing." Also based on Pima Indian word "arizonac" for "little spring place."


STATE MOTTO: Ditat Deus (God enriches)

1911 PREAMBLE: We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution... 

ADDRESS: 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85007


Old Capitol Building

Completed: 1900
Architect: James Reily Gordon

Photo: Robert Deering 1998

Neoclassical state capitol building with Spanish influences. Copper covered dome with statue but no cupola. 92 feet tall. This building was the territorial capitol until statehood in 1912, when it became the state capitol. Additions were completed in 1919 and 1938. Over the years the government grew too large to be housed here, and in 1960 the House and Senate moved to newer buildings east of the original building. In 1974 the building was left empty when remaining state offices moved to larger, adjacent buildings. In 1981 the bulding was restored and given museum status.