Midwest Living Review
While scaffolding still crisscrosses the interior of the Kansas Capitol's 304-foot soaring copper dome (16 feet higher than the U.S. Capitol dome), you can tour the almost completely restored 1866 building located on 20 grassy acres downtown. Tours of the capitol provide a good review of the Sunflower State's history. Rotunda murals by Topeka artist David Overmyer comprise a compelling, life-size picture book. Robust pioneers muscle against harsh nature, drive longhorn steers, battle Indians, fight the Civil War and build railroads. Outside the governor's ceremonial office (also open to visitors), view "Tragic Prelude," an iconic mural portraying wild-eyed abolitionist John Brown. Peter Fritz's 2,000-pound sculptures of famous Kansans fill the pink marble halls of the limestone building. Intricate stencil borders, stained-glass windows, stately gold-leafed columns, Oriental rugs and coffered ceilings convey the importance of decisions made in the House and Senate chambers and old Supreme Court. Free admission; cameras welcome. Self-guided tour maps are available at the visitor's desk where Kansas Historic Society guided tours depart 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The capitol's decade-long restoration is slated to be finished in 2013.