Oregon State Capitol

The Willamette Valley & Wine Country

The state's first capitol building burned down in 1855, and a domed classic Roman edifice was built to replace it. Unfortunately, that building also burned down (in 1935), and the current capitol building was completed in 1938. Bauhaus and art-deco influences are apparent, especially in the strident bas-relief in the front statuary and the hatbox-like cupola. The building is faced with white Danby Vermont marble, and the interior is lined with rose travertine from Montana.

The most notable features of the capitol are four Works Progress Administration–era murals lining the interior of the rotunda. There's also a galleria with changing exhibits, plus a cafe. Surmounting the capitol building's top is the gleaming Oregon Pioneer, a 23ft-high gilded statue depicting a stylized, early male settler.

Free tours are offered daily; check the website for schedules. In spring and summer you can also take a 'Tower Tour,' which goes up 121 spiral steps to the rooftop (weather permitting).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Willamette Valley & Wine Country attractions

1. Willamette University

0.16 MILES

Just south of the capitol, Willamette University was the first university in the western USA and is well respected for its liberal-arts undergraduate…

2. Hallie Ford Museum of Art

0.16 MILES

Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art boasts the state's best collection of Pacific Northwest art, including an impressive Native American…

3. Willamette Heritage Center

0.19 MILES

This interesting 5-acre complex houses grassy gardens, two gift shops, a clutch of pioneer buildings and two museums. The Mission Mill Museum, Jason Lee…

4. Elsinore Theatre

0.33 MILES

This dazzling Tudor-Gothic landmark, opened in 1926 and once a silent-movie theater, is now primarily a venue for theater and concerts. Classic movies are…

5. Deepwood Museum & Gardens

0.62 MILES

Not far from the Bush House, this 1894 Queen Anne mansion is topped by turrets and bejeweled with decorative moldings and beautiful stained-glass windows…

6. Bush House Museum

0.65 MILES

The Bush House Museum is open as a showpiece of Victorian design inside Bush's Pasture Park. Note the marble fireplaces, 10 in all. Most of the wallpaper…

7. Bush's Pasture Park

0.65 MILES

One of Oregon's leading citizens of the late 19th century was Asahel Bush, a newspaperman and highly successful banker who began building his rambling…

8. Bush Barn Art Center

0.69 MILES

Inside the reconstructed stable at Bush's Pasture Park is the Bush Barn Art Center, which features several galleries and a permanent exhibition. The main…