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Virginia State Capitol

1000 Bank Street
Richmond, Virginia, 23218

Virginia State Capitol
Photo: Varmin License: CC BY 3.0
The Virginia State Capitol, built between 1785 and 1788, is the seat of state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in Richmond, the third capital city of the U.S. state of Virginia. The first two were Jamestown and Williamsburg.
It houses the oldest elected legislative body in North America, the Virginia General Assembly, first established as the House of Burgesses in 1619.

After the end of the American Civil War, during the Reconstruction period, Virginia was under military rule for almost five years, ending in January 1870. In the ensuing months, a dispute over leadership of the Richmond government resulted in the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals holding a hearing on April 27, 1870, in the large courtroom on the second floor of the Capitol. Several hundred people crowded in. Before the proceedings could begin, the gallery gave way and fell to the courtroom floor.

Despite demands for the building's demolition, the damage from the tragedy of 1870 was repaired. In 1904, two wings (not in the original plans) were added to the east and west ends of the building to provide much-needed additional space for the growing legislature.

In 2003, the assembly approved $83.1 million for the renovation, restoration and expansion of the Capitol. Work began in 2004 and was completed on May 1, 2007.

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