The Indiana State Capitol, the Statehouse, has been the seat of Indiana’s government since 1887 and is perhaps the grandest 19th-century Neo-Classical Revival building in Indiana. Alexander Ralston balanced his plan for the city with two symmetrically placed sites on Market Street east and west of the circle. The west parcel, a terminal point of Market, is the site he chose for a state capitol building. (source)
In 1878, a committee selected Indianapolis architect Edwin May to design the new capitol building after an earlier one on the site was demolished. His winning concept was an extended Greek cross plan with formal entrance pavilions on each face, capped by an Italian Renaissance style dome. May died in 1880, when only the cornerstone had been laid. The building was completed by his assistant, Adolph Scherrer, a Swiss born architect trained in Vienna before coming to Indianapolis. Scherrer changed many façade details and supervised construction. The General Assembly began meeting in the new Statehouse in 1887, one year before its formal completion. (source)
The Washington Street elevation is an excellent place to begin a tour of the Statehouse. The entire building is veneered in Indiana limestone quarried in Lawrence, Owen, and Monroe Counties in southern Indiana. The north and south faces are similar, each with Corinthian porticoes flanked by pavilions with low domes. Scherrer’s bold, plastic design for the various façades included a rusticated base, pedimented window hoods, and pediments on each corner pavilion face, richly carved with foliate work. The south elevation fronted on the National Road and has more ornamentation. The sculptural program atop the portico is The Westward Journey. On the left side of the cornice ledge, Native Americans are forced west, while Euro-American pioneers enter from the east. (source)
The interior was carefully restored in the late 1980s. The two courtyards with skylights north and south of the rotunda are lined with three story arcades of marble columns. Original oak doorways and marble paneling were cleaned as part of the restoration. The wall and ceiling stencil work was replicated as were the ornate brass chandeliers. Gold leaf was reapplied to surfaces long rendered dull by constant use. The rotunda is one of the city’s magnificent historic spaces. (source)
For tips on how to create better architecture images, go to my post 10 Helpful Tips for Striking Architectural Photography.