Georgia State Capitol

Completed: 1889
Edbrooke and Burnham
Photo: Robert Deering 4/13/2015

Georgia has had several State Capitols: Savannah (1777-78), Augusta (1779-80), Heard's Fort and miscellaneous sites in Wilkes County (1780-81), Augusta (1781-82), Ebenezer and Savannah (1782), Augusta (1783), Savannah and Augusta (1784), Savannah (1785), Augusta (1786-96), Louisville (1796-1806), Milledgeville (1807-1868), and Atlanta (1868-present).

The front of the capitol faces west on Washington Street. The fašade features a four-story portico, with stone pediment, supported by six Corinthian columns set on large stone piers. Georgia's coat of arms, with two figures on each side, is engraved on the pediment. The Capitol's interior represents the 19th century style of its time. It was among the earliest buildings to have elevators, centralized steam heat, and combination gas and electric lights. Classical pilasters and oak paneling are used throughout the building.   The open central rotunda is flanked by two wings, each with a grand staircase and three-story atrium crowned by clerestory windows.  The statue Miss Freedom has adorned the dome since the building's opening.

In 1997, a restoration of the House and Senate chambers was performed, returning their appearance to that of their original 1889 decorations and color schemes. This included the demolition of damaged plaster, the reinstallation of flat plaster at the dome, columns, and walls, and a decorative painting in the House and Senate Chambers.


ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Georgia was named to honor King George II of England, who signed the royal charter which established the colony of Georgia in 1732.


STATE MOTTO: Wisdom, Justice & Moderation

1777 PREAMBLE: We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...

ADDRESS: 206 Washington St., Atlanta, GA 30334


Robert & Cheryl Deering in Front of the Georgia State Capitol
Photo: Ferdie Deering 1953

Old Capitol Building

Completed: 1807

Photo: Robert Deering 4/13/2015

For the first years after Georgia became a state, its capitol was located in Louisville. But on December 12, 1804, the state legislature voted to designate Milledgeville as the permanent capital of Georgia. The following year $60,000 was appropriated to build a capitol building.  The highest point in the city was reserved for Statehouse Square, where construction began on the new capitol building in 1805.  Although the capitol building was not yet complete, the Georgia Legislature met there for the first time in 1807. A train of 15 wagons brought the archives and treasury from Louisville, with troops providing an armed escort for the entire distance. 

Significant expansions were added to the building with north and south wings were built in 1828 and 1834 respectively. The beautiful east and west porticoes with their granite steps were added in 1835, completing the building to the appearance it maintains today.

After the Civil War, the Reconstruction legislature voted to move the capitol to Atlanta in 1868.  The building was used as courthouse of Baldwin County from 1871 until 1879, when it was turned over to what was then called the Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College. The school changed its name to Georgia Military College in 1900 and remains a thriving educational institution today.

ADDRESS:  201 East Greene Street in Milledgeville, Georgia

MUSEUM OPEN: Tuesday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 noon until 4 p.m.