tv Colorado State Capitol Building CSPAN September 10, 2016 8:47am-9:01am EDT
and it shows that you can make a difference no matter how big or how small and no matter where you are at. announcer: for the complete schedule, go to c-span.org. this weekend, c-span is visiting denver to take a look at the city's history. next, a visit to the colorado state capital. derek everett and lance shepherd will be our guides. >> the colorado state capitol was built between 1886 and 1901. it took 15 years to complete the capitol. construction started 10 years after colorado join the union. we are called the centennial state. centennial for 100 years after the signing of the declaration of independence. the capitol building took 15 years to build on a site that was donated by local businessman named henry brown. he was not an altruist.
he donated his property so he could make a fortune selling the rest of it for people that wanted to build their houses near the capital. it almost took 20 years and two trip to the united states supreme court to resolve who owned this property in large part because the state did not build on it for a long time. they did not have the money to. so he he sued twice, it made it all the way to the u.s. capitol building in washington dc for two battles before the supreme court which he finally lost in january of 1886. and finally, construction started that summer once all the legal battles were done. the colorado state capitol stands at one mile above sea level. denver is known as the mile high city. there are actually three markers on the west steps. the original one was on the 15th step which is a brass marker that was the ultimate souvenir of denver. people cap stealing the plaque, so we had to put new ones in. in 1947, they just carved one-mile above sea level on the 15th step.
in 1969, a group of students from colorado state university remeasured, and they said we were off by three steps. so there is a little brass plug on the 18th step that declares one-mile above sea level. and in 2003, we got our third mile high marker because the federal government redefined sea level and how we judge altitude. in the united states. and global warming and sea levels and all of that aside, the mile high marker actually dropped instead of raising, and so now it is on the 13th step. there was a little brass plug it was installed by governor owens in 2003. well we are on the second-floor , of the colorado state capital. this is the legislative floor. the house and the senate chambers are here on the second floor where the 100 members of the general assembly meet from early january and early may. early may.
it was intended to be built out of as many native materials as possible. you want to keep as much of the money as building the capitol in the state and encouraging local industries. most of the stone came from local quarries. decorative materials came from other states including white oak from the ozarks in arkansas. all of the window frames are made out of map. the brass came from foundries in cincinnati, ohio and louisville, kentucky. the capitol building has over 33 stained-glass windows. they represent various figures in colorado history. , historicalgures individuals men and women from , many different ethnic groups as well. the window that is behind me honors emily griffith who was a schoolteacher in the early 1900s. she founded in the emily 1916 griffith opportunity school which now operates as a vocational training school. her intention was to provide free education on any practical
issue that children or adults might want to learn. if you wanted to find a better job, if you wanted to get skills that would help you earn more money for your family, she would invent classes as the school year went on. there was really no set structure or schedule. you showed up whenever you needed to to take more classes you wanted. she would ask students, what things are you interested in? what topics do you want to know about? then she would find people who knew that and hire them to teach a class at 10:00 at night or 10:00 in the morning. it did not matter. it was a very open-ended school. and the motto for it was always opportunity. it remains in operation today. it is celebrating its centennial here in downtown denver. one of the political figures was the governor during world war ii . he was one of the few american politicians to speak out in
support of japanese-americans after pearl harbor. he took a great political risk coloradans be sure to treat everyone with dignity and respect. the japanese internment camp built in southeastern colorado was undoubtedly the most open. it had the best interaction with the local communities. there was a great deal of support of japanese-americans. he is remembered with several plaques at the capitol building. our new state judicial building is named in his honor as well. in the 1960's, colorado's governor was john love. and who better to be governor in the 1960's and governor love? he was a republican from colorado springs. signed the nation's first liberalized abortion laws . it was called essentially legalizing abortion across the spectrum. there really weren't any categories that were limited or constrained. the bill had been written by a
denver politician, a member of the legislature named dickie lamb who eventually served 12 , years as governor. it was a democratic bill signed by a relatively conservative republican governor in the 1960's. that was six years before the roe v. wade decision in the supreme court. so colorado was really on the front lines. there is an ongoing historic restoration and preservation effort here at the state capitol. we have been working on trying to reclaim the building to the way it looked a century earlier when it opened. capitol architect lance shepherd can offer some information about all of the projects trying to restore it to its original condition. lance shepherd: what's your head right here. there are two domes to the capital. we are inside the outer dome which is just below the lantern.
of course the capitol is modeled after u.s. capitol. there is a similar situation with an outer dome and inner dome. it is an architectural feature to make it look larger and grander than it actually is. they are considered the artists to who guilded the capital. we have always used grilled -- gold from colorado to guild it. as part of the dome, on the exterior of this is copper. is 63 ounces of gold for the entire dome. 120 years of hailstorms have damaged the copper quite a bit. there were micro factors. it was getting pretty bad. we replaced all of that. we actually put a layer of been ne,thing -- of bitutha sheet-metal and a layer of that,ne on the top of
waterproofing that should hopefully last 100 years. we are currently in the house chambers which is under restoration. this project started approximately three years ago. in the first year we did the , lower-level restoring the ornate stenciling and the plastic work. the second year, we did the upper levels of the ceiling. the third-year, we are doing the gallery. in the 1960's, they had glued ceiling tiles to all of the wall surfaces of the ceiling. the infield the copper -- ed theled -- infill copper. the periodg back to of significance, working with history colorado. we have photograph showing it. the lower-level, we just touched
up the original stenciling, but on the upper levels and the ceiling, we actually re-created it on top of an acoustic plaster material to help with the acoustics. we opened up the copper and restored all the gilding up there, and we restored the chandelier. over the year, they have added extra bolts to the chandelier. we have gone back to the original teardrop. the chandelier was both gas and electrical at one time. if you look at the upper sections, the little gas jets are still there. here hadthe paint in been kind of dulled with 100 years of cigar smoke, cigarette smoke. we cleaned up the original colors. the green is for the house of commons. it is red for the house of lords. lance shepherd: -- derek everett: the colorado
state capital serves at the heart of the community. there is not necessarily any reason for the state of colorado to exist. it is a giant rectangle that bring together cultures and environments and geographies that do not necessarily have anything in common. this is the place where people gather to decide what do we want, what do we need. what makes us coloradans? what do we have in common? it has a great deal of symbolic power and historical power. it is not only a practical building. it is not only a place where colorado's history is preserved. there are murals and paintings stained-glass windows that celebrate and educate the people of colorado and anybody who comes to see the state. exactly what it is we think is important, what is it we want to commemorate out of our past and shared existence. this weekend, we are featuring the history of denver, colorado together with our comcast cable partners. learn more about denver and the other stops on our cities
tour. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. the c-span radio that makes it easy to continue the -- continue to follow the 2016 election. it is free to download where you are. get up-to-the-minute schedule information for c-span radio and c-span television and podcast times for the popular public affairs programs. stay up-to-date on the election coverage. the radio app means you always have c-span on the go. each week leading up to the 2016 election, wrote to the way has rewind it brings you archival coverage of presidential races. this sunday, the first debate from the 1992 campaign between incumbent president george h.w. bush, arkansas governor bill
clinton, and texas businessman ross perot. here is a preview. ross gave a good answer, but i have got to respond directly to mr. bush. you have questioned my patriotism. you even brought some lightweight hungers men into the white house -- congressman into the white house to talk about russia when other americans [indiscernible] i honor your service in world war ii. mr. perot service and anyone who is ever served including your chairman of the joint chiefs who is serving me. but when joe mccarthy went around this country attacking people's patriotism, he was wrong. he was wrong. a senator from connecticut stood up to him named prescott bush. your father was righteous to stand up to him. you were wrong to attack my patriotism. i was opposed to the war, but i love my country.
we need a president who brings this country together, not divided. we have had enough division. i want to lead a unified country. announcer: watch the entire debate sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on the weekly series road to the white house rewind. "american history tv," only on c-span3. announcer: next on "american history tv," history professor theresa kaminski talks about her book "angels of the underground, the american women who resisted the japanese in the philippines in world war ii." she talks about four american women involved in espionage rings after the japanese invasion and occupation of that country. this 50-minute event is a part of a conference on world war ii and was hosted by the macarthur memorial in norfolk, virginia.