exterior work was being done on the State Capitol, dozens of laborers
toiled inside the new facility performing masonry work, electrical
wiring and plumbing, building and painting.
As you can see
pictured to the right, teams of painters worked on various rooms. In
this instance, this team of painters was working on the walls of the
Governor's reception room preparing the surfaces.
construction took place as well. As soon as a traditional flat surface
was laid in the Chamber designated to hold the State House of
Representatives, a series of broad tiered levels were installed to
enable the people in the back to observe the podium as easily as people
in the front.
the Senate Chamber, there was no comparable tiering. With half as many
people to consider space for, a need did not exist to elevate the people
in the back.
there's the scagolia.
with the term "scagolia?" Don't feel bad. You're not alone. Because the
creation of scagolia is considered a lost art.
construction of the State Capitol was considered a great expense to the
people of South Dakota. Being as frugal and sensible as South Dakotans
often are, as long as it didn't impact the artistry of their new Capitol
Building, they looked for ways to save money.
time of construction, marble columns would have cost up to $1000 each.
But if they constructed them in scagolia, they could reduce the cost to
only $100 for each column.
Marble Company of Chicago created these magnificent scagolia columns all
through the rotunda and in the legislative chambers.
supervision of Tulilo Duvia, who grew up in the marble quarries of
Italy, the scagolia columns were constructed. First, the columns were
created from a plaster, and covered by marble dust, ink and yarn. after
they are dried and polished, they are very marble-like in appearance.
In the nearly
one hundred years years since the columns were created, the technique
for creating works of scagolia has been lost to time, rendering the
scagolia columns irreplaceable.
cost, marble was used in many places around the Capitol Building. The
grand stairway and it's railings are all constructed out of marble, as
well as the wainscotings of the first, second and third floors.
marble in the Senate Chambers, as well as in original drinking fountains
in the Capitol located adjacent to the Governor's office, and just
outside the House and Senate chambers.
If you look at
the floors in the Capitol, the mosaic floors are made up of thousands
upon thousands of small pieces of marble laid in mosaic patterns.
As the legend
goes, the floors were laid by 66 Italian workers who each left a
signature blue tile as pictured at the left all over the Capitol.
Only 55 tiles
are visible to the public. There is some debate as to
whether or not there actually were 66 workers, but it's entirely
possible that additional blue stones are hidden under desks, file
cabinets, or even carpet.
In fact, in
just in the few months preceding this writing, an additional two tiles
were discovered by workers installing carpet in the Capitol building,
bringing the grand total of known tiles up to 57.
additional tiles within regularly used office space have been recovered,
and are once again hidden away to be discovered in another time.
The Decorated Capitol