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CONTACT: Steve Parrott
307 E College
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557

Release: Immediate

Old Capitol Museum to be closed Jan. 21-24 to refinish floors

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus will be closed to tourists from Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24, to allow workers to recoat the building's hardwood floors.

Old Capitol annually attracts some 25,000 visitors from across the state and around the world. Built in the early 1840s, it was the first permanent seat of Iowa's territorial and state governments and was used by Iowa's lawmakers and government officials until 1857, when the state government moved to Des Moines. The building was then given to the University of Iowa. Since that time, the Old Capitol has been a focal point of the university, serving as a library, chapel and armory and providing space for classrooms and offices.

A six-year historic restoration of the building was begun in 1970 in an effort to return the building to its original Greek Revivalist elegance. The restoration included the offices of the territorial and state governor, treasurer and auditor; the Supreme Court Chamber; the Territorial Library; and the House of Representatives' Chamber.
The building was reopened to the public on July 3, 1976, as the UI's contribution to the United States' Bicentennial. Old Capitol was official designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Old Capitol is normally open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The building is closed on holidays and Dec. 31. There is no admission charge, but reservations are required for group tours. For more information, call 319-335-0548.