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Mansions on the Cheap

September 21, 2011

Minnesota State Capitol Building, St. Paul, MN

One sure way to break the travel budget is with lots of mansion tours. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is fantastic, but as one of my readers correctly pointed out ‘at the price they charge it’s no wonder.’ Entrance fees for Biltmore can run as much as $64 per person. The Breakers in Newport will set you back almost $20, and the James Hill House in St. Paul, Minnesota, runs eight bucks. If you’re wondering who in Sam Hill is James Hill, all I can say to you is – exactly.

Meanwhile, one mile down the road from Mr. Hill’s eight dollar estate is the larger and completely free Minnesota State Capitol. While it’s true that you won’t typically see elegant dining rooms or wood paneled man caves lined with big game mounts in our nation’s capitol buildings, you will find plenty of fabulous architecture and all of the extravagant splendor that typically draws visitors to those pricier venues.

Icing on the cake: interior photography – increasingly verboten almost everywhere these days – is universally permitted in these public buildings. So here’s a small taste of what our state capitols have to offer . . .

Tennessee State Capitol Library, Nashville

Kentucky State Capitol Reception Room, Lexington

Louisiana Old State Capitol Stained Glass Dome, Baton Rouge

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2011 9:10 am

    The first and last pics are breath taking!

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