The Alaska State Capitol is located in downtown Juneau and is one of 11 capitol buildings in the U.S. without a domed roof. Construction on the building began in 1929 and was originally called the Federal and Territorial Building, according to a history of the building by the Legislative Affairs Agency. It was dedicated on Feb. 14, 1931. The marble found in the columns in front of the building and through the Capitol was taken from quarries on Prince of Wales Island.
The House of Representatives, Senate and governor all have offices in the building, and several buildings around the Capitol house additional legislative staff and offices.
The Capitol is usually open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and brochures are available on the ground floor for self-guided tours. Guided tours are sometimes offered through the Juneau-Douglas City Museum located across the street.
The main entrance to the building faces Fourth Street and the ground floor houses legislator’s offices, the mailroom, facilities offices, a committee meeting room and the press room. Murals and artwork adorn the walls of the ground floor, as well as a bust of Alaskan Civil Rights advocate Elizabeth Peratrovich.
Fun fact: It was renamed the ground floor to accommodate a rule that said post offices must be on a building’s first floor.
The office of the Senate President is located in the West wing of the building, and the East Wing is home to three House committee meeting rooms. A floor-to-ceiling photograph of the original territorial Legislature can be found just outside the House Health and Social Services Committee meeting room. A side entrance for staff and lawmakers is located on the East side onto Seward Street.
Fun fact: Until 1961, the east wing of the first floor was a post office and the west wing housed federal offices.
This floor has both legislative chambers, the House chamber is in the east wing and the Senate in the west. The Speaker’s office is located just outside the House chamber. A cafeteria is located on this floor, and while the public is able to order food from it, only lawmakers are allowed in the seating area facing the front of the building. There is also a committee room, the Senate clerk’s office and an entrance for lawmakers and staff leading to the parking lot behind the building.
The public can watch floor proceedings from public galleries at the back of the House and Senate chambers. The galleries are named for famous Alaskans. In the House, the galleries are named for Civil Rights advocate Elizabeth Peratrovich
This floor is connected to an additional legislative office building across the street by a sky bridge.
Fun fact: The original Senate Chamber is now the Speaker’s Chamber and is used mainly for press and ceremonial purposes.
The governor and lieutenant governor have offices on this floor and the halls are lined with photographs of all previous officeholders going back to territorial days. There is a large conference room that looks out over Fourth Street where the governor holds press conferences.
Fun fact: There’s a map of Alaska cut from a 48-inch pipe used on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
Mainly legislative offices are on this floor, and the walls are adorned with historical photos and newspapers.
Fun fact: According to the Capitol self-tour brochure the Fourth Floor is not part of the tour.
The House (on the west side) and Senate Finance Committee (on the east side) rooms are located on this floor. Both have floor-to-ceiling windows looking west. These are the largest committee rooms in the building.
Fun fact: Before becoming Legislative offices, the fifth floor was home to district and superior courtrooms and federal marshall’s offices.