Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the road: Raleigh

By Dave & Marian Cortesi The morning after the Duke game was (appropriately) dull gray and gloomy. We drove from Durham to Raleigh to bag us another state capitol. We have pictures of 40 or so of them. In North Carolina, the only official occupants of the Old State House are the Governor and Lieutenant Gov. Inside there was a surprise. All the way up on the third floor is a charming old State Library, very nicely preserved and displayed. Also on the third floor is a similarly cozy and appealing State Geologist's office. Below these are the original legislative chambers. This was the House of Representatives. North Carolina has over 100 Reps (which seems a superfluity, but I'm sure they feel a need...) and you can see why they felt a bit cramped back in 1960: This is what they had built for them by Edward Durrel Stone, who also did the Kennedy Center in DC and many other famous buildings. Finished in 1963. It's a very nice building inside, with four interior garden courts and spacious and imposing legislative chambers. This is where the Reps sit--quite an improvement over the old one. Look at those chandeliers. Those double-cone lamps are just soooo 60s, aren't they? Admit it, you had a fixture like that in some apartment you lived in. Here's Marian, trying out the Grand Staircase (carpet for official use only): The neigborhood around the capitol has a lot of impressive 1890's houses. Here's a detail from one. We also visited the Mordecai House historic park and were given a very pleasant tour but the weather was too gloomy for pictures. Tomorrow: a stopover in Charlotte.

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