I'm in Madison, Wisconsin, this week for the 2007 Annual Conference of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). I'll be here for a week of day-long, and evening deep, meetings. These people are crazy.
I arrived about mid-day Saturday and had time to walk around and look at things. Our conference hotel is just a block from the Wisconsin State Capitol. It is a lovely building. The State has recently refurbished it and it glows in the center of this pretty little city.
I had meant to circle the Capitol and walk out a ways. But I noticed folks walking into the building. I followed them and was astounded to find a gorgeous palatial interior, fully open to the public and apparently quite popular.
So I got stuck in there, wandering around ogling the architecture and taking loads of photos. I really love this building. There is color and grandeur. There is rich wood and polished stone. There is gilt and marble. There is plenty of light.
Large areas of the building are open to the public, and the staff are pleasant and helpful; proud of their building and eager to share information about it.
I worked my way up several sets of stairs until I came to the inside of the great dome. There's a metal spiral staircase the leads to a walkway around the outside of the dome. Up there are views all around the center of the city and over the two lakes that frame the Capitol. There are also close-up views of a number of heroic statues.
I probably spent an hour and a half wandering around. I was in pig-heaven. I hope to get back there at some point this week.
By the way, in case you were wondering: there are plenty of badgers in there as well.