Phoenix was named the territorial capitol of Arizona in 1889. For over a decade, until a capitol building was constructed, territorial officials gathered in spaces rented from the City of Phoenix. In November 1898, the Capitol Commission selected James Riely Gordon to design the capitol building but the contractor, Tom Lovell, was not chosen until January 1899. It wasn’t until February 1899 that the beginning of a new Capitol building first broke ground. James Riely Gordon designed the building’s structure costing $135,744. The building was completed in 1901, after three years of construction, serving as Arizona’s Territorial Capitol. His vision was constructed with a dome made of Terne Metal, sheet steel with a coating of lead and tin, which was later replaced with a copper dome when the Capitol was rebuilt by Gerald Doyle in the 1970s. In 1912, the building became the official Arizona State Capitol until it was reborn as the Arizona Capitol Museum after the executive tower, new legislative, and executive building were added to the property. The building has undergone many renovations and restorations since its original construction.
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