Kansas State Capitol - Online tour - Grounds
The Capitol is situated on 20 acres in downtown
Topeka. The land was donated in 1861 by Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. The Capitol was completed in four main phases, the east wing, the west wing, the south wing and the north wing and dome.
A stone fence was built around the Capitol to keep out farm animals. Citizens soon called for the removal of the “unsightly stone fence” and it was replaced with a more modern “five-board pig-tight fence.”
Instead of uniform rows of trees, the informal landscape design of Capitol Square is the result of an Arbor Day celebration on April 22, 1875. Topeka Mayor Thomas J. Anderson invited the citizens to plant a tree on the Capitol grounds. More than 500 trees were planted that day. Some trees were too close together and had to be thinned out and many others died that summer during a drought. Subsequent plantings have maintained the informal charm of the trees.
During the renovation period parts of the grounds will be active construction sites. Access to the grounds and parts of the building will be limited as work progresses and is limited to one door and as work proceeds, the point of access will change.
Before visiting the Capitol in person, we recommend that you check the most recent access instructions or call the Capitol Tour Center at 785-296-3966.
Free visitor parking is available on the first level of the underground parking garage. Entrance to the garage is on Eighth and Harrison Streets. An underground tunnel leads directly into the Capitol.
Capitol Square is home to many markers and memorials.