Ask most people what the capital of Florida is and you’ll find very few know it’s Tallahassee. With a population of around 200,000 people, it’s smaller than Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando, especially if you take into consideration the extended urban areas and outlaying suburbs. How Tallahassee came to be Florida’s capital is an interesting story, being midway between Saint Augustine – the capital of the former "East Florida", and Pensacola – the capital of the former Spanish "West Florida" during the days when travel was not as simple as it is today.
All that is just as a background to the fact that Tallahassee hosts the Florida State Capitol building, which I see almost on a daily basis on my drive towards the university. The new state capitol building is hard to miss, it’s – by far – the tallest building in Tallahassee with an observation deck I recommend visiting on the 22nd floor. But, just infront of it is the old state capitol building, now a museum, which was meant to be taken down but survived due to the passionate citizens of Tallahassee who insisted that it’s a landmark.
Sure glad they did, since it’s a lovely structure. Nothing as grand as the other state capitols I’ve seen across the states, but still – worth preserving and visiting to learn a thing or two about the history of Florida state.
Much of what’s inside is a restoration based on photos found, since very little was left of the originals. Everyone is welcome to come in and have a look and the volunteers would be happy to share some historical anecdotes with you, should you be interested.
So, above you can see, the legislator, the senate, the supreme court and a few political meeting rooms. All very humble and small, yet for a state as small as Florida was those days they didn’t need more than that.
There are interesting exhibitions to visit, like the Bush Al-Gore Florida count-down as well as some of the Native American Seminole history. Stop by if you’re in the area, and be sure to go see the more modern building and go up to the observation deck.