In 1978, the workers and craftspeople responsible for the
seemingly insurmountable job of restoring the Capitol posed for a group photo. This picture was signed by all and enclosed in a time capsule in the building's cornerstone.The Grand Staircases
The original grand staircases were removed from the Capitol in 1906 to make way for additional office space and elevators.
Recreating the staircases was a daunting task considering that the only known references were two black and white photographs. Fortunately,
researchers located and were able to obtain one of the original newel posts, which had been purchased by St. Francis of Assisi Church. Using the original as the model, craftspeople recreated the hand-carved walnut, mahogany and redwood posts featuring bear heads and foliage. The newel post light fixtures are copies of the original gaslights and include flying seahorse ornaments drawn from Greek mythology.Poppy Mosaic
The original marble mosaic on the second floor had withstood the test of time. During the restoration, each of its approximately 600,000 pieces was cleaned, polished, glued and grouted on craft paper to be reinstalled in sheets. The restored 1906 mosaic features swirling patterns of golden poppies, California's state flower.The Great Seal of California
A stained glass version of the Great Seal of California can be found embedded in the ceiling near the entrances of the Senate and Assembly Chambers. The seal's design includes an image of the Roman goddess Minerva, a grizzly bear, and clusters of grapes representing the wildlife and agricultural wealth of California. In the background, a gold miner and sailing ships represent industry and commerce.For more information, visit
The Great Seal of California tour stop in the
California's Capitol: A Reflection of Democracy tour in this website.