CAPITOL SQUARE RESTORATION

“The Building will be located in the centre of the Capitol grounds, fronting upon Capitol Avenue, at the head of Michigan Avenue.”

Elijah E. Myers, Architect


This summer the traditional grand entrance to Capitol Square at Capitol and Michigan Avenues will undergo a dramatic restoration. The original path of the walkways will be restored, a new historical marker and plaque will be dedicated, and two reproduction lamp posts will be installed to highlight the formal entrance to the grounds.

When the Capitol opened in 1879, two monumental lamp posts stood on either side of the sidewalk leading from Capitol Avenue to the building. Lit by gas, they provided an elegant frame for the building and a welcome for visitors. The posts were provided by S.J. Creswell of Philadelphia, the same company that cast the iron for the building. The original lamp posts were eventually electrified and finally removed in the 1920s. Two new replica lamp posts will assume their historic positions this summer.

In addition, a new Michigan State Historical Marker will also be installed on Capitol Square. Michigan’s marker program dates to 1955, when the legislature passed an act to draw attention to
Old image of lamps in front of the capitol
The Michigan State Capitol, circa 1880. Note the large gas lamp posts in the foreground.
Photo Courtesy of Archives of Michigan.
Michigan’s rich history through a series of historical markers. This marker is the Capitol’s third: the first two were replaced when they became outdated and worn.

The third major addition to Capitol Square is a bronze plaque honoring the men and women whose vision and hard work resulted in the construction, restoration, and preservation of our Capitol. The plaque commemorates the Capitol’s original construction (1872-1878), its award-winning restoration (1987-1992), and its renewal (2014-2016).