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Construction of the State Capitol Building
State Capitol Construction, Part II  

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The legislature first provided for the construction of a state capitol building in 1856, creating the Board of State Capitol Commissioners to handle contracts and oversee the construction. Construction crews broke ground on December 4, 1856. Unfortunately, ensuing fiscal obstacles brought the entire project to a halt within eleven days, not to resume for another four years.

In 1860, the legislature passed an act superseding the legislative provisions of 1856 in order to resume construction of the state capitol. Work on the structure began in September of 1860, and continued for many years. A series of floods, beginning in 1861, delayed construction and prompted the Commissioners to raise the foundation to its present-day level.

Although occupied for the first time in November 1869, the state capitol building was not completed until early spring of 1874. The building cost an estimated $2,600,000, including the payroll receipt total shown here for October 1862. Landscaping of the grounds surrounding the state capitol, known as Capitol Park, did not commence until the mid-1870s and continued until the 1890s.


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First page of the agreement allowing for alterations and use of the Sacramento County Courthouse by the state legislature, 1854-1855.  Board of State Capitol Commissioners Records, California State Archives.

First page of the agreement allowing for alterations and use of the Sacramento County Courthouse by the state legislature, 1854-1855.

Board of State Capitol Commissioners Records, California State Archives


First page of "An Act to Provide for the Construction of the State Capitol," 1860.  Original Bill Files, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

First page of "An Act to Provide for the Construction of the State Capitol," 1860.

Original Bill Files, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.


State Capitol Commissioners Payroll Receipt, 1862. Board of State Capitol Commissioners Records, California State Archives.

State Capitol Commissioners Payroll Receipt, 1862.

Board of State Capitol Commissioners Records, California State Archives.



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