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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison

On Saturday morning we left Kenosha and headed for Madison to photograph the state capitol. Madison did a great job laying out their capital city. They put the building at the center of four city block plot of land, then oriented it with four wings lying diagonally versus the nearby streets. They extended the wings via four diagonal streets and put the whole layout on an isthmus in between two lakes. Click on the image and Google should take you to the right spot.

There is no gold dome, but the there is a statue on the top named "forward," the state's motto.
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The inside of the building is particularly nice.  Maybe in the top two or three of the 37 that we have seen.

A copy of the Wisconsin State constitution and a replica Liberty Bell are on display, but the four mosaics just below the dome really stand out.

They represent the three branches of government and Liberty.  The Wisconsin Virtual Capitol Tour describes them:
...four panels of glass mosaic works designed by Kenyon Cox, for a total cost of $20,000. Kenyon Cox, born in Warren Ohio, (1856 - 1919) was an important American painter, draughtsman and art critic. He also painted murals for the Library of Congress and the Capitols of Iowa and Minnesota.

Cox's mosaic panels are twelve feet high and have an average length of twenty-four feet. Each mosaic consists of approximately 100,000 pieces of glass tile ...
Take a closer look at each of them.
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No history book discusses Wisconsin without mentioning Governor Robert La Follette (1855-1925) and the Progressive Movement.  There is a large bust of La Follette in the rotunda.  And say, isn't that a badger up where we can barely see it?
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I expected a lot of protesters from the "Occupy" movement or from the "Recall Walker" effort.  But we had arrived on Saint Patrick's Day, a Saturday, and a March day with temperatures in the 80's.  If there were any protesters around, they were lost in the crowd.

Since Madison is a college town, there are plenty of restaurants to try.  We settled on Bluephies on Monroe Street.  I had the Wisconsin Sushi.

Wisconsin Sushi?  Well, here's the description from the lunch menu.
No, it isn’t really sushi. but it is a Bluephies throwback and it
is the best we got. thick cut bacon layered with sweet italian
sausage, lovingly wrapped around an andouille sausage. then
smoked and served with taters and bbq gravy
It was very, very good.

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