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Explore the Capitol's 2nd Floor

On the second floor rotunda is the Gallery of Governors, where portraits of former Michigan governors line the rotunda on the second and third floors. By tradition, each governor selects the artist, pays for the portrait, and donates it to the state after leaving office. When a new portrait is hung in the Gallery, room is made by moving the oldest portrait to another location in the Capitol.

In the east (front) corridor is the Office of the Governor. The Governor's Office and Parlor, among the best-documented and most beautiful rooms in the Capitol, have been carefully restored. Features include original furnishings manufactured by the Feige Brothers Company of Saginaw. Preserved through the efforts of Marie Ferrey, who in 1913 became the first curator of the Michigan Historical Museum, the furnishings are a tribute to Michigan's furniture manufacturing heritage. Pictures hanging on the Parlor walls are of former Michigan governors - reproductions of of the charcoal-enhanced photographs which once hung here.

The doorknobs on the corridor doors on the second floor and elsewhere in the Capitol are cast with Michgan's coat-of-arms. Door hinges throughout the building also display our coat-of-arms.

The Capitol has beautiful "walnut" woodwork, including doors, door frames, and wainscot. Almost all the wood trim in the Capitol appears to be walnut - and almost none of it really is. Most of it is pine or other inexpensive woods, carefully hand painted to mimic walnut. Called "wood graining," this technique involves applying seven layers of paint by hand. Every line of grain - and even the pores in the wood - are painted by hand! Originally undertaken to save money, all of the building's wood graining has been completely restored. Today the Capitol ranks as one of the finest examples of this ancient art in the nation.

The lobbies of the House and Senate Chambers are located on this floor, in the north and south wings. There are illustrated seating charts, designed to help you locate your legislator's desk on the chamber floor outside each of the chambers. If the legislature is in session, you can pick up a session calendar from the House and Senate Sergeants here.

Source: Your State Capitol. Prepared by the Michigan Legislature