Built between 1839 and 1842, the domed structure of Iowa City's Old Capitol served as the third territorial capitol and the first state capitol of Iowa. In 1857, when the state government was moved to Des Moines, Old Capitol became the first building of the new University of Iowa. It remains today the centerpiece of this handsome campus. The story of its history and restoration, told in this elegantly illustrated book, is an intriguing account of historical architectural detection.
Using primary sources, including manuscripts, vouchers, account books, newspaper stories, correspondence, and documents from the National Archives and Iowa repositories, Margaret Keyes portrays the major events of the total history of Old Capitol since its site was determined.
"This book is really about two Iowa treasures—Old Capitol and Margaret Keyes…This is the fascinating history of the restoration of a beautiful, historic, and significant public building…Old Capitol is the physical expression of the accomplishments and aspirations of a people, a state, and a university…To restore Old Capitol is, to some degree, to restore ourselves. And for that—and for this book—we must thank Margaret Keyes."—David Crosson, Administrator, State Historical Society of Iowa