State Capitol Building, Raleigh, NC

Easy to pronounce and easy to remember – that is Raleigh. When spoken of North Carolina, Raleigh is the first to get into the mind. It is famous for Sir Walter Raleigh, where the so-called “planned city” originated its name. It is popular too for the North Carolina State Capitol, plus a whole bunch more of exciting histories and natural wonders. Before we proceed to the very highlight of Raleigh, it would be best to know about the city first. Raleigh, as mentioned was a “planned city” and that was because someone wanted to put it up. Honestly, though, most cities aren’t planned, but Raleigh was. And as expected, because Raleigh had always been wanted to be there, and theirs, it had become an intimate city where people really enjoy and call it home. Raleigh is in the eastern piedmont and its former and merged names include Bloomsbury, Caraleigh and Oberlin. It is known today as the “City of Oaks” for its widespread oak trees. It is the 15th fastest growing city and the 49th largest city in the United States as per the City of Raleigh Planning Department’s Growth Management Division.

Raleigh is quite a place. It was chosen as the new state capital in 1788 and was officially established in 1792 as both the new county seat and the new state capital of Wake County, North Carolina, USA.

The North Carolina State Capitol building is said to be “one of the finest and best-preserved examples of a major civic building in the Greek Revival style of architecture.”

The Capitol is roughly cruciform in plan, three stories tall crowned by a copper dome. The interior features a central rotunda open from the ground floor to the top of the dome. The two other major rooms are the house and senate chambers, each room is two full stories in height. The building stands in the center of Capitol Square, largest of the five public squares established in Raleigh’s original 1792 plan. Large trees and public monuments surrounding the building add to its air of permanence, formality, and importance. The layout of Capitol Square dates from 1928, according to a plan designed by the Olmstead Brothers.

All branches of the state government were housed in the Capitol until the Supreme Court moved into its own building in 1888. The General Assembly met in the Capitol until 1963, when it moved into the Legislative Building. Offices of the Governor and Secretary of State remain in the building. While several remodelings and additions to the building have been suggested over the years, actual changes have been minimal. Recent work has restored the original senate and house chambers. The North Carolina State Capitol is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.

If you pass by it, you will certainly say it is an attractive building. It has been considered as a National Historic Landmark and is quite open to the public. But apart from the State Capitol building in Raleigh, what attracts most visitors to this state is the freedom to explore the places and activities in its area. Its downtown neighborhoods are very popular. Old Raleigh, East Raleigh, West Raleigh, North Raleigh, South Raleigh, and Southeast Raleigh – you would be so fond hopping from one neighborhood to another to find out the differences of each. Its local festivals include the Lebanese Festival on May; Crawfish Day on June; Apple Day, Gourd Festival, Grecian Festival, La Fiesta del Pueblo, Storytelling Festival, Sweet Potato Day and Bug Fest on September; Heritage Day on October; International Festival and Pecan Day on November. Isn’t that amazing? Now you will know when to come to Raleigh. And the purpose? Simple observe… feel the vibrations of history prevalent in the city. Embrace it and enjoy life.