Alaska’s red-brick state capitol in Juneau is atypically austere, lacking a dome or sprawling grounds. Yet the building does feature porticos of marble from Prince Wales Island, and inside, two murals depict the harvest from both land and sea, while carvings highlight the industries Alaska relies on for its livelihood.
Self-guided tours of the boxy building lead visitors through the ground floor lobby, committee rooms, public galleries of the senate and speaker’s chambers, Hall of Governors, and the House Finance Committee Room, with its views of Douglas Island. Shore excursions and city sightseeing tours often pass by the capitol, offering the chance to see it from the outside.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Alaska State Capitol is a must-see for architecture buffs and those interested in civics.
- Give yourself about 30 to 40 minutes for the self-guided capitol tour.
- The capitol is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Alaska State Capitol is located at the corner of East 4th Street and Main Street in Juneau, and is easy to reach on foot from just about anywhere in downtown.
When to Get There
The capitol is open for self-guided tours daily when the legislature is in session, and from Monday to Friday the rest of the year. To see the building at its liveliest, plan to visit during legislative sessions between January and April.
A Short History of the Capitol
The Alaska State Capitol was completed in 1931, when Alaska was still a United States territory. The structure housed federal government offices until Alaska gained statehood in 1959. One of the reasons the building lacks the ornamentation of other state capitols was the difficulty the territory had in securing funding—locals provided much of the needed funds.