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Phallic or not? Hot or just overwrought? Etc.
January 26, 2006 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Temples of democracy A long time ago, Matt apparently stated that state capitols look phallic in order to advertise that the Man does business there. Now you can judge for yourself. Here are all 50 capitol buildings, including artistic renderings, photos and histories. And Alaska's is decidedly non-phallic--the same goes for the proposed Gehry-like giant air conditioner-esque one too. And get a load of North Dakota's Ed Wood-ish house chamber.

So . . . what makes a good capitol building (or state house or what have you) to you? (For the record, I favor the more capitol-ey capitol, the traditional; like those of California, Mississippi, Colorado, Missouri and Wisconsin, etc. Then there's the impressive simplicity of the Jefferson-designed Virginia capitol. But I also like Oregon's art deco capitol, from what I see in the photos.)
posted by raysmj (40 comments total)

 
It's important to wrap your capitol building so you don't knock up Idaho.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:02 PM on January 26, 2006


Pennsylvania's is really fascinating inside. There are free tours. The State Museum next door is also free and really cool.

Just don't try to park around there.
posted by QIbHom at 7:09 PM on January 26, 2006



posted by Freen at 7:17 PM on January 26, 2006


This water tower is a winner.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:17 PM on January 26, 2006


I will never be more impressed with any capitol scenario, than the Daily Show's Pentagon, taint, Capitol, and Washington Monument arrangement.

Utah has a beautiful classical capitol that has been alternately scaffolded and wrapped in plastic, for remodeling and earthquake proofing, for years now. Here is how it looked one somber evening at sunset with the 9/11 flags out.

posted by Oyéah at 7:18 PM on January 26, 2006


Our capital dome is plated in gold.

Yours is not.

So there.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:20 PM on January 26, 2006


Yeah, that is the Utah Capitol, having safe air sex. Here

Is how it was.
posted by Oyéah at 7:24 PM on January 26, 2006


WGP, I live one mile from that water tower. I walk by it every day on the way to work. It is very cool.
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:24 PM on January 26, 2006


Phallic or not? Actually, other parts of Montana's capitol are beautiful inside and out.
posted by Staggering Jack at 7:27 PM on January 26, 2006


Oh no, not the air conditioner from hell thing! That is perfectly wretched. It would be better as a log hut with caribou antlers, and old lumberjacks in drag, selling postcards. They have a contact us page, do you suppose they get a lot of AAAuuugghhh! emails?
posted by Oyéah at 7:37 PM on January 26, 2006


You can't forget the Penis of the Plains in Lincoln, Nebraska.
posted by my sock puppet account at 7:45 PM on January 26, 2006


Hane they all passed their fire safety tests?
posted by Balisong at 7:57 PM on January 26, 2006


there is no such thing as gold plating of builings.
posted by longsleeves at 8:03 PM on January 26, 2006


d
posted by longsleeves at 8:03 PM on January 26, 2006


Oh, I was wondering if builings was the drunken spelling of buildings, but now I see the d.
posted by Oyéah at 8:12 PM on January 26, 2006


Neat site, thanks; there's lots more than capitols. (Minor gripe: the NC building history leaves out the fact that the first capitol burned to the ground in 1831 during a fire-proofing renovation).
posted by mediareport at 8:13 PM on January 26, 2006


p.s. this should really have an "architecture" tag.
posted by mediareport at 8:14 PM on January 26, 2006


I thought the d was a little phallus, you know, for comparison.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:20 PM on January 26, 2006


And get a load of North Dakota's Ed Wood-ish house chamber.

First thing I thought of: Time Tunnel! Actually, it wouldn't have been out of place in the interior of the hideous Confederation Building, Newfoundland's seat of government (after we abandoned the Colonial Building - progress, huzzah).
posted by hangashore at 8:22 PM on January 26, 2006


Massachusetts' state house doesn't look especially phallic on the outside but it has a giant cod piece inside.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:24 PM on January 26, 2006


Since they were little,my stepsons have called RI's capital "The Mary Poppins Building" whenever we drive past Providence. I have no idea what building in Mary Poppins they are referencing.
posted by Biblio at 8:54 PM on January 26, 2006


At least the Louisiana courthouse is well fortified against the black-toothed knight.
posted by dgaicun at 9:03 PM on January 26, 2006


Being familiar with the Florida state capital building, I was wondering why it didn't jump out at everyone as being easily one of the most phallic things anywhere. Then I checked the posted link and realized that the picture sucks. Check out this pic and see the phallic gloy with thine own eyes! No wonder all the recent pictures are skewed and zoomed in.
posted by Farengast at 9:19 PM on January 26, 2006


Funny you should mention [Ed] wood in connection with the North Dakota Capitol building. When I took the tour (at the start of a job on the capitol grounds) they emphasized the many different kinds of exotic woods used in the paneling of the building. Notable is the Monkey Room, paneled in California walnut wild figure veneer.

I thought it was interesting that a state with very little in the way of native lumber would have so much precious wood in its capitol. Bear in mind I was coming from another state capital, Madison, WI, where we have LOTS of wood, but very little of it in the mostly-marble Capitol building.

I guess you always want what you haven't got.
posted by gillyflower at 9:25 PM on January 26, 2006


A friend of mine is on a quest to have his picture taken in front of every capitol building. He's up to 35 so far.
posted by painquale at 11:41 PM on January 26, 2006


I just wish you could still climb up into the Gold Man at the Oregon state capitol. It looks pretty cool when you're driving down the right street at the right time of day, though.
posted by Clamwacker at 11:43 PM on January 26, 2006


Any capital with this mural is worthwhile. Was one of the better things about Kansas.
posted by pandaharma at 3:56 AM on January 27, 2006


Gods, pandaharma, that might just supplant "Star Wars Rocks" as my new desktop image.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:14 AM on January 27, 2006


I used to work at the ND State Senate. The truly phallic area was the Memorial Hall, with its brass pillars.
posted by Ber at 5:36 AM on January 27, 2006


Maine's State House is nice but pretty mundane, as capitols go. But what I think is cool is that I typed this comment while sitting IN said State House. How many of you can say the same about whatever capitol building you commented on? Huh? Huh?
posted by JanetLand at 7:04 AM on January 27, 2006


JanetLand, I hope you're not the one who designed that Kids' Page. It blows-- and I mean this in the nicest possible way-- chunks.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:21 AM on January 27, 2006


Any capital with this mural is worthwhile.

Carry on, my wayward panda. There'll be peace when you are... um... uh... .
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2006


full of bamboo?
posted by trondant at 7:35 AM on January 27, 2006


Louisiana's firm and virile erection never has to open spam Email.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:43 AM on January 27, 2006


Since they were little,my stepsons have called RI's capital "The Mary Poppins Building" whenever we drive past Providence. I have no idea what building in Mary Poppins they are referencing.

St. Paul's Cathedral.
posted by LionIndex at 7:55 AM on January 27, 2006


this is a great link. lots of good stuff, thanks.
posted by Busithoth at 9:01 AM on January 27, 2006


Seeing phalluses in objects is as seeing phalluses in objects does.
posted by HTuttle at 9:11 AM on January 27, 2006


Don't worry, Faint of Butt -- I am merely a humble proofreader; I have nothin' to do with no stinkin' web pages.
posted by JanetLand at 9:23 AM on January 27, 2006


Being familiar with the Florida state capital building, I was wondering why it didn't jump out at everyone as being easily one of the most phallic things anywhere.

I have a friend who lives in Tallahassee and gives directions that sometimes include phrases such as "when you get to the giant penis, turn right," confusing out-of-towners who don't know what she's talking about until they get there.
posted by oaf at 11:40 AM on January 27, 2006


I used to live about 2 blocks from Nebraska's Penis of the Plains. It was fun giving directions because the rest of the city (including buildings) is so flat that you can see it from almost anywhere. I would just say, "Come, come to the penis. When you get there. Stop. Admire. Do as you will. Then head east two blocks."
posted by Bueller at 12:01 AM on January 28, 2006


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