Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the function of the Capitol?
    The Capitol houses the meeting chambers of the Florida Legislature, the House of Representatives in the north wing and the Senate in the south wing. Together with the two Legislative Office Buildings, it includes the offices for the Legislature. The Capitol also holds the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor and the Cabinet.

  • Who designed the Capitol?
    The Capitol was designed by a joint venture of Edward Durell Stone of New York and Reynolds, Smith and Hills of Jacksonville.

  • When did the Legislature first meet in the New Capitol?
    The first legislative session in the New Capitol was in 1978. Opening day of session was April 4, 1978.

  • When was the New Capitol dedicated?
    March 31, 1978.

  • How long did take to build the New Capitol?
    Construction on the Capitol began November 8, 1973. The Capitol was declared completed on August 19, 1977. This works out to1,016 days. Over 3,200,000 man-hours of labor were required.

  • How much did it cost to build the Capitol?
    The total construction amount was $45,028,079. The building itself cost $43,070,741 with an additional $1,957,338 committed to landscaping Waller Park.

  • Is there any symbolic significance to the grillwork on the outside of the Capitol?
    No. The grillwork was Edward Durell Stone's signature late in his architectural career.

  • Is anyone buried in the Capitol?
    No. Some government officials have lain in state at the Old Capitol such as Gov. Lawton Chiles, Sen. Pat Thomas, and Gov. Daniel McCarthy.

  • How can I obtain a flag that has flown at the Capitol?
    A flag can be obtained by contacting Department of State at (850) 245-6500.

  • How many floors are in the Capitol?
    Despite being referred to as a 22-story building. There are three floors below ground and twenty-two above.

  • What can be found on each of the floors?
    The first five stories of the Capitol contain the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Cabinet members, Legislative officers, and committee rooms. The west side of the Plaza Level contains the Capitol Welcome Center, the Heritage Chapel, and the Rosenquist murals. The east side of the Plaza Level or rotunda has the Great Seal of the State of Florida, three " Florida Halls of Fame ", and a memorial to Florida's Medal of Honor recipients. The remaining floors, with the exception of the enclosed observation deck on the 22nd floor and the snack bar on the 10thfloor, are state government offices. Two of three underground floors are parking levels. The other floor is the Lower Level. The Lower Level houses the Cabinet Meeting Room, government offices and the Cafeteria.

  • How high up is the observation deck on the 22nd floor?
    The observation deck rises 307 feet from the entrance on the Plaza Level. The 22nd floor is also 512 feet above sea level.

  • What materials are the public areas made of?
    The walls of the public areas are covered with travertine marble imported from Italy. The floors in these areas are terrazzo.

  • What is the estimated working life of the New Capitol?
    The working life is estimated at 100 years.

  • How many people are in the Capitol on an average workday?
    The number of people in the Capitol during a normal workday is 1,500. During the Legislative session, this number increases to over 5,000.

  • How long does legislative session last?
    The regular Legislative session runs for 60 consecutive days. Regular session begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March in odd numbered years. In even numbered years, regular session can begin earlier at the request of the Legislature. The Legislature will start session early when re-apportionment is needed. Special sessions, which can last up to a maximum of 20 days, occur at the order of the Governor or joint proclamation by the Speaker of the House and Senate President.

  • What is the total square footage?
    718,000 total square footage. This is equal to approximately 400 homes.

  • How much and what kind of materials were used in the building the Capitol?
    3,700 tons of Structural Steel. 2,800 tons of Reinforcing Steel. 25,000 cubic yards of concrete. This is equal to 16 football fields, 1 foot think OR a 5-foot wide, 4-inch thick sidewalk, 77miles long. 12,000 square feet of Walnut Paneling. 12,000 gallons of paint. 62,000 square feet or 1.5 acres of marble. 60,000square yards of carpet. 92,000 square feet of terrazzo. 30 miles of telephone cable. 250 miles of electrical wire.

  • How many bathrooms, doors, and elevators?
    11 private bathrooms with showers and 66 public restrooms. Over 2,000 doors. 14 elevators. Two special elevators run between the Lower Level and the 4th floor. The remaining 12 elevators are known as the Elevator Bank. The Elevator Bank is located on the Plaza Level between the Florida Welcome Center and the Rotunda. The Front Four elevators, located adjacent to the Rotunda, run from Parking to the 5th floor. Six of the remaining eight elevators are linked together. Four of these six travel between the Lower Level and 19th Floor. The fifth elevator runs from the Lower Level to the 22nd Floor. The sixth elevator, the freight elevator, goes between Parking and 21st Floor. One of the two remaining elevators runs from the Lower Level to the 3rd floor and 16th floor to the 22nd floor. The other elevator goes between the Lower Level to the 3rd floor and 16th floor to the 21stfloor.

  • How do I arrange a mock session?
    In order to use the Chamber, you must contact your Legislator. The Legislator's Office will make the appropriate arraignments. Please note no mock sessions will be scheduled during the last two weeks.