The Kansas State Capitol is located on a 20-acre tract in downtown Topeka. C.K. Holliday donated what has become Capitol Square in 1862. The legislature accepted the donation that year and authorized E. Townsend Mix's building design of French Renaissance architecture with Corinthian composite details. Work began in 1866.
The east wing cornerstone was laid October 17, 1866. Following a harsh winter in 1867, the cornerstone and foundation of the wing crumbled. Harder limestone from Geary County was used to replace the foundation and continue construction on the wing. In 1869, state officers were moved to the building from the Old Constitution Hall, now 427-429 Kansas Avenue. The legislature met in 1870 in the new Capitol. The wing was completed in 1873.
Work on the west wing was begun in 1879; it was enclosed by 1880. The wing is four feet wider and six feet longer than the east wing. A covered wood bridge, called the Cave of the Winds," connected the two sides before the central building was in place.
Construction began on the central building in 1885 along with the remodeling of the Senate Chamber. A spring was discovered as workmen dug the 25-foot deep foundation. The spring still flows beneath the Capitol. The contract for the roof and dome was let in 1889. A crack, caused by settling of the foundation, was repaired in 1890.
Thirty-seven years after work on the Capitol was begun, the building was complete. The total cost was $3,200,588.92.
The Capitol is 399 feet north and south and 386 feet east and west, and 304 feet from the ground to the top of the cupola. The dome is 66½ feet in diameter at the bottom of the copper dome and 54½ feet from the beginning of the copper dome to the cupola floor. The cupola height is 23½ feet.