I have worked at the U.S. Capitol and at the Nevada State Capitol, although I have never worked inside Wyoming’s Capitol. Growing up in Wyoming, there were many times where I traveled to Cheyenne for high school sports, although I never had the chance to go through this historic building and witness its amazing beauty. Recently, I traveled to Cheyenne to work on legislation for Wyoming patients, so I went to meet with legislators.
The Wyoming Capitol Building
Driving through the city, I enjoyed looking at old history and new architecture at the same time. Cheyenne was established in 1867 and even today, the railroad and the Union Pacific are a major part of its existence. The city’s architecture still feels like the rough and tough wild west. The construction of the capitol building began before Wyoming had secured statehood, and this building has amazing architecture.
The architecture is reported to be of Renaissance. The outside of the building is made of sandstone which came from quarries in Rawlins, Wyoming. The inside of the capitol displays woodwork, much of it cherry wood, demonstrating the 1800s era. I rolled around in the center of the rotunda in my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair. If you look up, there is beautiful stained glass at the top, surrounded by mystic features. Glasswork and 146-foot spire dome murals show the culture.
Wheelchair Accessibility in the Capitol
The Wyoming Capitol building is very accessible. There were elevators close to the governor’s office. There is also a tunnel that leads to the office buildings into the capitol where the house and the senate reside. The first floor has checkerboard marble floors, columns, and an impressive staircase made thick brown wood leading to the top floors.
I was able to view the chambers of the house which, was so beautiful from above. There were many accessible features. One or two wheelchair users can view their leaders engage in debate in the house chamber from either end of the viewing area. The house chambers have desks where two members sit and work on Wyoming business. I could see all the members from the top viewing areas while sitting in my power wheelchair. It was amazing.
Throughout the capital there are many statues and paintings that reflect the history of Wyoming. I loved the two statues in the basement where the committee meetings are held. One of the statues is of Chief Washakie, who was born around 1800 in his father’s Salish (or Flathead) tribe. He was given the name Washakie when he joined his mother’s Shoshone tribe. There are many buildings and places named after him.
I really loved meeting all my state representatives and senators in this amazing building.
About Madonna Long: Madonna works as a disability advocate to educate policymakers and congressional leaders on disability issues. She uses an Edge 3 Power Wheelchair for mobility. She is a mother to four children and lives life on her terms, despite a spinal cord injury. Click here to learn more about Madonna.