The Splendor of the Lansing Capitol Building


I have lived in Michigan my whole life (except for one year I lived in Virginia, but that is another story) and have never visited our state’s capitol building. Given my love for architecture it seems especially absurd I have neglected to visit and photograph the beauty within its walls. For shame!


You can visit the capitol building and take a guided tour for free; but also have the option to self tour, here is one document I found online chock full of capitol building history that I found fascinating – so I won’t regale you with tons of facts here 😀.


Bryan Levy, a friend and fellow photographer, accompanied me to Lansing to visit the capitol building. We parked the car and walked towards our destination, noticing the clouds parting and showing us some blue skies for a few minutes.


Lansing Capital Building Full



We proceeded to walk around the building towards the front door. This door at first didn’t seem too impressive for a front door, until I realized it was a door along the side of the building.

Lansing Capital Exterior Side Door



Walking further we came across the main entrance, and it of course did not disappoint!


Lansing Capitol Front View


The details on the front doors and lamp posts were amazingly beautiful!



The skies started to cloud over so we took the opportunity to enter the building. We decided to forego a guided tour since we were there to take photos this time around but I would love to go back and get a tour to learn more about it’s history. Of course we encountered several groups of third graders and other visitors which made shooting the space a bit challenging, as most of my images were attempting to capture the whole space and yes many people walked through while I was shooting. But that is to be expected here and thankfully the congresspeople were on recess so it was quieter than expected.

The first floor isn’t all that spectacular, except for the ceiling looking up to the second floor rotunda. We could see people walking along the floor as we looked up.


Lansing Capital Floor Light Fixture


We quickly made our way to the stairway, and that is when the breathtaking architectural details began to unfold. The first thing I noticed was these large chandeliers with deer on them, which can be found throughout the building.


Lansing Capitol Chandelier


The hallway led to the rotunda where past state flags are kept behind glass. The glass tiles are opaque and when below can see people walking above you!


Lansing Capitol Rotunda


We had to quickly take advantage of the clear rotunda to get the shot looking straight up to the dome. As you can guess, I took many photos of the dome from each of the upper floors (there are five floors total).


Lansing Capitol Straight Up


Time to move on to the third floor, using the stairs and stopping to capture them at the same time.


Lansing Capitol Stairway


On the third floor we see the past governor galleries along the walls on the third and fourth floors.


Lansing Capitol Wide from Doorway


Took this side staircase to the fourth floor…


Lansing Capitol Back Stairway


where we found both the Senate Chamber…


Lansing Capitol Senate Chamber


and the House Chamber.



The coffered ceiling in the House Chamber features the coat-of-arms for each of the 50 states, as well as Victorian and Michigan themes. Gorgeous!!


Lansing Capitol House Chamber Ceiling
Lansing Capitol House Chamber Ceiling


The fourth floor has the best vantage point to photograph the dome in my opinion, which is the crowning jewel of the building.




I could have shot it all day!



The fifth and final floor has four balconies and the closest you can get to the dome. We saw people walking on the walkway near the windows at the top of the dome but couldn’t figure out how they got up there. To be honest, with my fear of heights I most likely wouldn’t have gone anyway!


Lansing Capitol Fourth Floor Balcony


My final image is a 5-image panorama of the fifth floor. I am so glad I finally made the trip to see this fantastic architectural marvel and I look forward to my next trip! If you are interested in purchasing any of these images you can find them in my print shop here.


Lansing Capitol Pano Fourth Floor



4 thoughts on “The Splendor of the Lansing Capitol Building

  1. Sheri Kowalski says:

    Holy smokes. That’s gorgeous. You captured it so well. I really love the balconies and colors. I’ll have to make a trip and see it in person. Your photos are flawless. Maybe you should submit this a guest post on Pure Michigan. What a great little outing. If you ever need a photo buddy, I’ll be up for it when I return. I’m heading into my first year of art fairs here. Ever since your workshop, I’ve been planning. I’m excited for this new venture and also nervous. I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for fair responses. They are taking their time. My first will be in Charlevoix. 🙂 Good luck to you this summer and congrats on Ann Arbor.

    • Alanna St. Laurent
      Alanna St. Laurent says:

      Thanks so much Sheri that means a lot coming from you – you have beautiful work! I totally understand being excited yet nervous, it seems every year I am doing something different so sometimes feel like I am starting over again lol. I finally invested in a “professional” tent and carpet display walls/bins. I figured it was time to do it so now that I’ve made the investment I will be set for awhile. Charlevoix sounds wonderful I am sure it will be beautiful! I haven’t tried any fairs outside of Detroit one day when I get my own van then I can do that . Good luck at the fair! And thanks about Ann Arbor I am crossing my fingers for favorable weather!

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