June 15, 2010
"The Dome Building Downtown"
The California State Legislature was moved to Sacramento in 1854 with the support of Governor John Bigler. The Monterey capital of California had been such under Spanish/Mexican rule. It was at the old capital of Monterey in 1849, that the first Constitutional Convention and state elections were held. The convention decided that San Jose would be the new state's capital and their meeting place for the convention, followed by Vallejo and finally Benicia, before ending up in Sacramento. In 1879, at the Constitutional Convention, Sacramento was named the permanent state capital of California.
Construction of the Domed Neo-Classicalism Revival style State Capital Building began in 1860, and was intended to be reminiscent of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. The building was constructed in such similar fashion, that the buildings' domes both stand at an identical height of 220' tall. The construction of the building was completed in 1874. With the Capital Building under early phases of construction and the mass flooding of the city taking place in 1861, the legislative session was moved to the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco for that year. From 1862-1868, part of the Leland Stanford Mansion was used for the governor's offices during Stanford's tenure as the Governor and the legislature met in the Sacramento County Courthouse. The legislative chambers were first occupied in 1869 while construction continued. In 1973, the building was registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
On January 16, 2001, Michael Bowers rammed his semi-truck into the southern portico of the Capitol, causing fifteen million dollars in damage, and also caused his truck's fuel tank to ignite, fortunately killing him, in an agonizing death in which he burned to death, isn't Karma a bitch.