When visiting Boise, one of the most iconic buildings is the Idaho State Capitol building. There are plenty of ways to see the Capitol Building in Boise, whether on a tour of just walking on your own. Even though the Idaho State Capitol building is right in the middle of downtown, I have not been inside since probably fourth grade — when we went with our school. Here are our tips for visiting the Idaho Capitol building.
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The Idaho State Capitol is located in downtown Boise, at 700 West Jefferson Street. There is street parking and parking garages within blocks of the building. The best part of the building is it is owned by all of us, so you can wander inside any time it is open — I did this at a random time on a Friday.
Idaho has officially be a state since 1890 and Boise has been the capital of Idaho since 1864, after it was transferred from Lewiston. The Idaho State Capitol Building began construction more than 50 years later, in 1905, and the building was not completed until 1920.
The Idaho Capitol Building contains the Idaho legislature and the Attorney General’s office. The building also housed the Idaho Supreme Court until they moved to their own building.
The Capitol Building was restored in 2001, and underground legislative offices were constructed between 2006 and 2010. There are also underground tunnels to connect the Idaho State Capitol and other nearby government buildings.
The Idaho Capitol Building was constructed from four types of marble: red, gray, green, and black — brought to Idaho from all over the world.
The dome of the Idaho State Capitol building includes a bronze eagle on the top, making the building 208 feet tall. The building also includes 219 pillars, and 43 large stars and 13 smaller stars in the dome.
The Boise Capitol Building is also home to The Winged Victory, a replica of the original statue Nike of Samothrace in Greece. There is also a replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in front of the Boise Capitol.
The Idaho Capitol Building is a public government building, which means it is open to the public during business hours. You can always walk through any time you want when the Capitol is open.
As of 2019, the hours are:
Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
While the legislature is in session, you can view the sessions from the gallery — the balcony overlooking the House and Senate chambers.
There are many ways to take a tour of the Idaho State Capitol building, but all of them are by reservation only. Tours take place many days at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
To learn more about taking a tour, visit the Idaho Capitol’s website here.
You can also take a virtual tour of the Idaho State Capitol. Click here for more information.