Capitol Facts Banner 

Isaac ShelbyIn 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state.  Isaac Shelby was chosen as the first governor.  The first General Assembly met in a two-story log building, and the legislators were paid $1a day for their work.

One of the first things the General Assembly had to do was select a capital for the new state.  On December 5, 1792, the town of Frankfort was chosen to be the capital city.   Frankfort offered to provide a building for the General Assembly to meet in, until it could build a capitol building.  The first two capitol buildings were destroyed by fire that may have been the result of the candles that were used to light the buildings.  The first was destroyed in 1813 and the second in 1824.

Old State Capitol
The third capitol building was completed in 1830.
  Gideon Shryock, a 25-year-old Kentucky man, designed the building.  The General Assembly met in this building from 1830 to 1910.  It is still standing in Frankfort and is now called the Old Capitol.  It is open for tours, and inside you will find a unique self-supporting staircase that is the only one of its kind in the world.


The fourth and current capitol building was completed in 1910.
  Made from marble and granite from all over the world and topped with a 190-foot dome, Kentucky’s capitol  is one of the most beautiful in the nation. 

Abraham Lincoln

Inside the Capitol you can find statues of these famous Kentuckians: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis,
 Henry  Clay, Alben Barkley, and Dr. Ephraim McDowell.   

Floral Clock

Behind the Capitol, you will find Kentucky’s floral clock.
  Resting over a pool of water, the giant clock is 34 feet across.  It takes more than 10,000 plants to fill the clock.  All are grown in the state’s greenhouses near the Capitol.  The coins that visitors throw in the pool are collected and used to benefit young people all across the state.   

Governor's Mansion

On the east lawn of the state Capitol, you will find the Governor’s Mansion.  Since 1914, the mansion has been the home of Kentucky’s governors and their families.   The Capitol, mansion, and floral clock are open for tours year-round.

The General Assembly meets in the Capitol every year to discuss and pass new laws for the state.

Back Button