Autumnal Adventures - Part 2

Thursday, November 23, 2017

On our way back from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Kathleen and I visited the Old Capitol in Iowa City. There were several beautiful churches between the Capitol and where we finally found a parking spot, and I tried the door at each, to see if we could get a closer look. Someone was in the office at the First United Methodist Church, and we were afforded a close-up view of the beautiful sanctuary.
Construction of the church was completed in 1908 at a cost of $75,000.
The organ is majestic, and a balcony wraps around the back and two sides of the sanctuary.
Windows depict Biblical scenes featured in beautiful stained glass.
The first Methodist church service in Iowa City was held in a two-story log cabin in 1839. The congregation's first church was constructed of brick in 1844 for $5000. A chimney fire destroyed the church in 1906, which led to the construction of the current building, made of sandstone, with a Bedford limestone trim.
The church is located just blocks from the Old Capitol building, which had been on my list of places to visit for years.
The cornerstone of the Old Capitol was laid in 1840. The building served as the last capitol for the territory of Iowa, and the first capitol for the state of Iowa, as Iowa was granted statehood on December 28, 1846. The Capitol served until 1857, when Des Moines became the state capitol. The building has been owned by the University of Iowa ever since.
All of the offices/rooms in the Old Capitol seemed on the bare side. I imagine the curators maintain the building similarly to as it would have looked when it was in use. It's not like most museums replete with a plethora of items; and I appreciate the attempt to keep the historic integrity of the Capitol. Each room seemed to be painted in a different color, and there were many fireplaces and stoves throughout the building, a necessity at the time, I suppose.
How would you like to work in an office with high ceilings and a warm fire crackling beside you on a cold winter day?
My favorite room is the Senate chamber. It has a beautiful grand piano and is sometimes rented out as a wedding venue.
The House chamber is colored in warm, rich hues and has a balcony for a great view.
The old bell was damaged in a 2001 fire that destroyed the dome of the Old Capitol. The dome and bell have both since been replaced. The old bell sits in the basement. 
The Old Capitol has no admission fee. I did have a very hard time finding parking, but it was well worth it to finally visit the building!
Happy Thanksgiving!

20 comments:

  1. Both sites you visited are so beautiful! The stained glass at the church is stunning. Meanwhile, the Old Capitol makes me appreciate the care taken by designers in the "old days" to make things elegant.

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    1. It was awesome to have the opportunity to visit the Old Capitol and church!

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  2. Wow, I just love seeing the inside of these old buildings! Thank you so much for taking the time to post the beautiful photos! God bless you, Bethany!

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    1. And you, Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. That Methodist church and those stained glass windows are breathtaking! And I absolutely love the staircase at the old capitol building!

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  4. Absolutely stunning.. they tore down the Methodist church here with that rose mandela stained glass windows.. such a shame... gorgeous photos Bethany.. thanks for your comment at my blogger... you're very kind.

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    1. Ah, it's always sad to see old churches go!

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  5. What fun to tour these buildings. That first shot with the stained glass is simply awesome. What a wonderful capture. And that spiral staircase...wow! Another terrific photo. It's wonderful that you are out and about exploring.

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    1. It's good to take some time to explore from time to time! Glad you enjoyed the photos!

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  6. These both look like wonderful places to visit. The stained glass in the church is so beautiful. Loved the spiral staircase in the last shot.

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  7. Beautiful pictures! I especially like that last one of the stairs.
    Thanks for sharing. I have always enjoyed touring capitol buildings old and new!

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    1. So good to hear from you, Lydia! Hope everything is going well in your life!

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  8. What a lovely building. I think the Senate Chamber is pretty and would be a lovely room for a wedding.

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    1. That was my first thought walking into the chamber!

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  9. Beautiful church! It looks like the Old Capitol building has been quite well-preserved.

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    1. It has been well-preserved as part of the University of Iowa campus.

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