OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS

You not only CAN but you SHOULD take the kids to state capitol buildings!

OK State Capitol Building - Take the KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

I know what you are thinking…. Isn’t that a little dry for kids? Isn’t that a little boring for kids? Heck – isn’t that a little boring for me?

Well, yes and no!

Truthfully….not all of history is interesting, right? That certainly doesn’t mean you should be in the dark about it. The trick to seeing historical buildings like this one is to find what is curious and interesting about it – according to your traveling group.

AND – don’t plan on seeing every inch of it.

Anytime you are sightseeing, no matter how ‘famous’ or ‘important’ the site, it is really important to plan on seeing only part of it. Travelers get overwhelmed and tired! Do not ruin your visit – to any place – by overdoing.

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – The Dome

The dome of the state capitol building is really impressive. The building was designed to take a dome, but one wasn’t actually put on till 2002  –  85 YEARS after the building was complete.  Why the wait? Money, of course!

ornate dome and painting inside OK state capital, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

So, not only did they wait 85 years to put the dome one, but just a very few years after that they realized the dome had cracks in it! Can you imagine being the engineer behind that? The embarrassment!  Even more of an embarrassment is the repairs cost TWICE what was expected – though truthfully…have you ever had a repair cost what the estimate suggested? LOL! I sure haven’t.

As the front is off limits now because of falling stones (YIKES!) you must enter through the side.

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – Oil

This capitol building is the only one in the WORLD that is surrounded by working oil wells. Whatever your feelings of oil companies and fossil fuels, the facts are that we are a fossil fuel society. Most everything you touch every day has been impacted by oil.

Oil derrick, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Here are a few things made from oil that might surprise you!

ink

golf bags

caulking

perfume

soap

football cleats

yarn

toothbrushes

guitar strings

surf boards

shower curtains

dice

lipstick

Want to learn more about how oil goes into most everything? Read the list of 6000+ items made from oil!

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – The Guardian statue

The Guardian statue - model of the large one on top of the OK state capitol building, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

You can see a model of the statue that graces the tippy top of the dome outside. The one on the top outside is 22.5 feet tall! The model you see here is ‘only’ 9 feet tall and made of bronze. The artist who created The Guardian is E.K. Haney, who is a Seminole-Creek Master Artist. It must be cool to be related to an artist…he used his child and grandchild to create the eyes and cheeks on this statue!

Ok state capitol behind redbud tree, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Both statues are made from bronze as are a lot of large sculptures. Bronze is a very common metal for statues because these statues are actually cast. So, the artist creates a mold, the bronze is melted and then poured into the mold to cool.

Bronze behaves in such a way to make this process easier than other metals. When bronze cools it shrinks a little which makes it easier to get out of the mold. It is also strong and not brittle. (New word for today if you are interested: ductility – a lack of brittleness)

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – State Seal

The OK State Seal contains 6 seals. The main focus in on the large star in the center. Each of the five rays of the center star holds the seal of an Native American Tribe:

OK state seal on the floor, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Upper left hand ray – The Cherokee Nation seal contains a seven point star which represents the seven ancient clans.

Top ray – The Chickasaw Nation is a native warrior who carries two arrows.  These arrows represent two ancient tribal divisions.

Upper right hand ray – The Choctaw Nation seal is a bow with three arrows and a pipe hatchet. The three arrows represent three Choctaw chiefs.

Lower right hand ray – The Seminole Nation seal is a scene of a native tribesman paddling a canoe towards a village. It symbolizes peace and plenty.

Lower left hand ray – The Creek Nation seal is a wheat and a plow which represent the nation’s earliest work in agriculture.

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – Beauty

The building has some really pretty touches. I love the stained glass!

stained glass windows and art in OK state capitol, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

This decorative molding at the top of the ceiling are so pretty. I would love something like this in my house!!

ornate cornice inside OK state capitol building, OK State Capitol Building - Visit with KIDS, www.theeducationaltourist.com

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS – ROCK

Kids love dirt! Kids love rock! Capitalize on this and tell them which rocks had an impact on this historic building. Everything is chosen carefully.

The building itself is made from Indiana limestone and the base is made of Oklahoma pink granite. If you think Oklahoma pink granite is a dull subject…run this tidbit by the kids!

The stone (yes – the, as in ONE stone) that all of this granite came from was an area that was once part of the Chickasaw nation. The rock was called Ten-Acre rock because….the surface area above ground of this ONE rock was ten acres! That is one big rock. What do you call a rock that size? A boulder!

This area where you could find the Ten Acre Rock wasn’t just any old area. It wasn’t like you could just mozy on over and start carving up the rock. No, way! This area was well known to outlaws, renegades, train robbers and horse thieves at the time. Even lawmen wouldn’t go there!

The Oklahoman newspaper….

“It was considered dangerous enough that U.S. marshal deputies thought twice about entering this area.”

Now the  Ten Acre rock protects lawmakers instead of lawbreakers.

See some photos of Tishomingo granite here which has is made of larger pieces of materials than another nearby granite source…the Troy granite.

OK State Capitol Building – Take the KIDS

We make a habit of seeing a state capitol building whenever we get the chance and it is fun to see the difference!

The Texas State Capitol Building in Austin, Texas is fun because there are stars everywhere! Looking for them is really fun. Kids love to count them.

The Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado is fun because you can visit all THREE of the mile high markers. Yes, there are three because of them and they are NOT in the same spot because the ability to measure such things has improved over time.

Read about our visits to these wonderful state buildings.

 Texas State Capitol – Visit with KIDS

Colorado State Capitol – Visit with KIDS

There is so much to see in Oklahoma! Check out these related posts:

FREE things to see in Tulsa

Take the kids to Tulsa

Oklahoma State Aquarium

Philbrook Art Museum 

Enjoy travels as a family! Get all the tips you need from The Educational Tourist.

The Educational Tourist at OK state capitol building in OKC

Happy Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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