Archives: 2015-16 Legislative Session

Memorials & Statuary

The Historic State Capitol Commission has been charged with advisory review of the maintenance, restoration, development and management of the Historic State Capitol. As such, it takes its active stewardship seriously. 

It has long been the opinion that Capitol Park requires a master plan to protect and maintain it in the manner in which it was originally intended. The proliferation of memorials placed in Capitol Park has detracted from its wide green spaces and the park is in jeopardy of becoming a cemetery of monuments.

The Department of General Services (DGS) maintains memorials and plaques on the grounds of Capitol Park.  It has been an ongoing practice for DGS to advise the Commission on pending memorials proposed for the State Capitol Building and/or Capitol Park and to ask for their input and recommendations.  In some cases, legislation for a specific memorial contains language including the Commission in the review process.  In this role, the Commission has reviewed the designs of several memorials, including the Sisters of Mercy, the beautification of the Mexican-American Veterans Memorial, the Portuguese American Veterans memorial and the Ronald Reagan statue.

 In order to assist both the Joint Committee on Rules and DGS in tracking memorials in the State Capitol Building and/or Capitol Park, the Commission maintains a list of current and past Chaptered Memorials. The list has proven helpful when new memorials are proposed.   

For the most part, DGS and the Legislature have agreed to a moratorium on new memorials in the park, as part of the proposed Capitol Park Master Plan.  The Historic State Capitol Commission is in agreement with that moratorium.