Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Lesson in Civic's and Civic Resposibility

After all the time in forest we are ready for a change of pace and we make a trip to our state's Capitol.  Washington has a beautiful Capitol building, in some ways reminding  me of our nations capitol although not as large.

The capital located in Olympia is home to one of the last great domed capitols built in America. It sits on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and stands 28 stories high. The are forty-two broad granite steps lead up to the entrance which symbolize Washington's place as the 42nd state in the Union.

Inside is the same feelings of grandeur and elegance that I experienced in the other Washington. 

Your eye is drawn up to the dome in the center where ,

a huge light shines on the elegant gold seal etched into the marble floor beneath it.

 The Senate was meeting in the Senate Chambers so we were not able to go into the but we were able to walk through the State House of Representatives.
Entrance to the State Reception Room

Inside the State Reception Room


                                          Even the hallways are grand....



 Washington is the only state named for a President and a statue of George Washington resides in the capitol.

In the office of the Secretary of State was an interesting exhibit acknowledging the accomplishments of Washington State or Washington State residents that have  changed or impacted the world in some way.

Who hasn't hear of Bill Gates and Paul Allen and the contributions of Microsoft that has changed our world?  How have computers and the internet changed our world.

Then of course there is the contributions of Boeing to air travel.

The Grand Coulee Dam

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the building of the nuclear bomb that ended World War II.

Exporters Culture

Exports of Food that feeds the world 
lumber that houses the world.
(After this last month, we've certainly seen the forests and lumber production in action)

Long after their deaths, many Washington born musicians have remained icons who have influenced  an entire industry.

It was an interesting exhibit showing the many facets of Washington life and the State's impact
on the world.

Outside the capitol is this statue beautiful grounds.

There is a Govenor's Mansion on the Capitol Grounds.

Near the current capitol is the Old Capitol Building.  It is the Education Offices for the State of Washington.  In my working life I attended many meetings at this building.  I wanted to show Hailey where I had worked so we stopped for a photo and a little walk down memory's lane.

I took a walk through the park across the street and found this statue that I had never noticed before.  The inscription says,   Govenor John Rankin Rogers, Statesman and Author of the Barefoot School Boy Law which gives every poor boy of this commonwealth a fair education.

As I walked through the park I noticed homeless people sleeping in the park that were never there before.  The irony of the homeless people sleeping in the park in front of the Department of Education was not lost on me.

I had recently heard about a Tiny House Community that was formed by a local coalition of community members.  They were addressing issues of homelessness in the Olympia Community after the closing of a homeless tent city.

Each tiny house cost $15,000 to build. Each little house has a partial bathroom and bedroom/living area.  A building in the middle of the horseshoe campus houses a kitchen area with small individual private refrigerators and cupboards and showers and laundry facilities.   A resident can stay here permanently or move on when they feel ready.

I talked with a resident and he showed me his home.  I asked him what was the best thing about living in his new home.

He said he is now sober.  When life gets to hard he can just go in his home and close the door until he feels better.  

The residents have planted a garden

 Read  more information about the Olympia Tiny Home Community

Hailey and I talked about how the legislative process works as we walked around the capitol campus and buildings.

Legislators, education and community members all addressing  issues confronting communities today.

Today's visit to our states capitol was both a memorable lesson in Civics and Civic Responsibility.


  1. Very interesting post. The tiny home community is great. I think other states should copy that!


  2. What a beautiful and stately capitol you have. Your pictures are fantastic. Clearly a lot of money went into building this. I actually really like your older capitol building too. I'm not sure I would have replaced it but they certainly did it up big when they did. Nice that the governor can walk to work. :-) The tiny houses for the homeless is a fantastic idea. Amazing that you got to talk to one of the residents. If they get fully back on their feet can they move and the house become available possibly to some of those you saw in front of the education building? Great post!

  3. What a beautiful series of photos! Greetings from Montreal, Canada.

  4. Hailey , is learning some very important lessons on this trip. The Capitol is just beautiful Love the dome. The tiny home community is awesome wish they tried doing something similar here with old motels some worked most didn't.

  5. The last time I was at the capital was well over 50 years ago. It seems to have changed a lot...not the building, just the grounds.

    I love the fantastic education you are giving to Hailey....from all the wonderful scenery to the inside workings of our state!

    Thanks for sharing about the little houses. Too cool!