Virginia State Capitol

Completed: 1788
Architect: Thomas Jefferson

Photo: Robert Deering 11/3/2005

In 1780, the Virginia Legislature voted to move the state capitol to Richmond, Virginia - the third city in the history of the state to house the Capitol. Immediately after the move, the state summoned the work of Thomas Jefferson to design and build the new State House. Jefferson was working as the American Ambassador to France, and was a great fan of the French architect, Charles-Louis Clérisseau. In fact, the main portion of the building is modeled after a French structure, the Maison Carree in Nimes.

The first block was laid in August of 1785. Three years later, the General Assembly met in the building for the first time. The original building was red brick, but 15 years later the brick was covered with Stucco and continues to stand that way today.

In 1906, major changes took place to the Capitol. Two wings and the front steps were added. These would be the last major changes to the building, as it still looks the way it did back in the early 1900's. Today, the building still houses the legislative bodies of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The capitol building no longer dominates the skyline of the City of Richmond like it once did, but it is still considered a masterpiece in American architecture.

Rennovations were scheduled to be completed in 2007 at the time these photos were taken. 


ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I


STATE MOTTO: Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always to Tyrants)

1776 Bill of Rights, XVI: Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other.

ADDRESS:  1000 Bank St, Richmond, VA 23219

Cheryl & Robert Deering
At The Virginia State Capitol
Photo: Ferdie Deering 1953