Kansas State Capitol Dome Tour
 10th and Jackson
Topeka, Kansas 66612
(785) 296-3966

Free Capitol Building Tours Monday - Friday
9:15, 10:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15
Saturday: 10:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15
Reservations are accepted - recommended January to May

Tour the rest of the Capitol Building
Guide to things to do in Topeka

View of Topeka, Kansas from the Kansas State Capitol Dome.
View from the Capitol Dome
Inner Dome of the Kansas Statehouse - Topeka, Kansas
The inner dome with its new chandelier - the original chandelier was removed during a
World War 2 scrap metal drive

The Kansas State Capitol Dome tours were halted for several years while the building had $330,000,000 of renovation, but tours resumed February 3, 2014. The tours take about 40 minutes.

Visitors take a classic 1923 cage elevator to the 5th floor, where the tour begins. There are 296 steps from there to the top of the outer dome. The pace is relaxed, with stops on three levels, and should be no problem to someone in average condition. The most interesting area is above the inner glass dome, in the 75 feet of enclosed space between the inner and outer domes.

In addition to great views, the interior of the Kansas State Capitol Dome has interesting graffiti. After I photographed the oldest known graffiti (1903), the friendly, young guide pointed out a sticker from when Berry Goldwater visited the Capitol while campaigning for President in 1964, "AuH2O '64." Then he pointed to a name close to the sticker and explained it was his grandfather's name.

Many of the names are located where someone writing them would have had to make a very risky climb. The scariest are on the underside of the dome near the top, with no other surface nearby. 

During my first tour of the Kansas State Capitol dome, a woman froze in place at the bottom of the last spiral steps near the top and was unable to go all the way.

The rest of the Kansas State Capitol building can be visited from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday and 10AM to 4PM on Saturday.

Kansas capitol dome interior
Interior of Kansas Capitol outer dome..

Exterior of the Kansas Capitol inner dome.
Exterior of the 3/4" glass inner dome in 2006

The exterior of the inner dome in 2014 after major renovation. The additional structure supports the new chandelier
and has a mechanism which allows the chandelier to lowered for cleaning or repair.

Top of the inner dome

The exterior dome is made up of clay tiles with copper sheeting on the outside. The inner surface
has graffiti in extraordinary locations - notice the writing on the underside of a girder at top left.

One of the views from the top of the capitol dome is of three three grain elevators. The one in
the center was once the largest in the world, and is still the third largest.

First Presbyterian Church - Topeka, Kansas
First Presbyterian Church - the best known features of the building are the 100 year old Tiffany windows.

There was a lot of concern about removal of the historic graffiti in the capitol dome, but only a portion of
that graffiti was painted over during the renovation.

Kansas Capitol dome graffiti.
Oldest known dome graffiti - dated 1903, the year the dome was first completed.

"AuH2O" sticker from 1964 when Berry Goldwater visited Topeka while campaigning for President.

dome graffiti from 1938
Close-up of dome graffiti from 1938

Photos of the Capitol dome's exterior    Guide to things to do in Topeka

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LS-2/14 copyright 2006-2019 by Keith Stokes