Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hawaii State Capitol
The Hawaii State Capitol is located in Honolulu and is the official seat of governance for the State of Hawai‘i. It is home to the chambers of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of Hawai‘i. The Hawaii State Legislature, consisting of the Hawaii State House of Representatives and the Hawaii State Senate, also meets at the building. It opened on March 15, 1969 by Governor John A. Burns. In pursuit of the preservation of Hawaiian monarchical history the governor turned the old statehouse, Iolani Palace, into a museum. A centerpiece of the Hawai‘i State Capitol that greets all visitors is the bronze Father Damien Statue. On the south side opposite Iolani Palace is the statue of Queen Lili‘uokalani.
The Hawaii State Capitol is an American adaptation of the Bauhaus style called Hawaiian international architecture. It was designed by a partnership between the firms of Belt, Lemon and Lo and John Warneke and Associates. Unlike other state capitols modeled after the United States Capitol, the Hawaii State Capitol's distinct architectural features symbolize various natural aspects of Hawaii. Among them:
- The building is surrounded by a reflecting pool (see reflecting pool), symbolizing the ocean.
- The two legislative chambers are cone-shaped, symbolizing volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands.
- The columns around the perimeter of the building have shapes resembling coconut trees.
- The Capitol is built in an open-air design, allowing sun, wind, and rain to enter; the central rotunda opens to the sky. Like Hawai‘i itself in the U.S., the building is unique—the only capitol building in the United States to have such a design.
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