OKLAHOMA CITY – A restoration worker at the State Capitol recently made quite the discovery while remodeling.
A hidden attic above the fifth floor was found with some original lighting dating back to the 1900s.
Fine details are put into historic structures, like Oklahoma’s Capitol building, and there’s more to architecture than what meets the eye.
“What connects people in Cimarron County to the people in McCurtain County, what connects all of our communities together? The symbol is the State Capitol itself, it’s the one symbol,” Dr. Bob Blackburn said.
Somehow, someway, original light fixtures dating back to 1917 were placed in an unknown attic on the fifth floor of the State Capitol.
“We’ve authenticated that these are the originals,” Blackburn said. “We know what was in the Senate chambers, we have the original linens from the Capitol.”
One by one, the historic artifacts were brought down from the attic.
For the company that restored the Capitol’s chamber back in 1993, finding these antiques is remarkable.
“We did not have the budget to replicate these light fixtures even though we had the original drawings,” Paul Bruce Meyer said, managing member of MA + Architecture.
State Senator Charles Ford has been a huge part of restoring the Capitol for the past five decades and said these findings are the only way to represent Oklahoma in the form it was intended.
“I’ve visited 38 Capitols over the years, some are more opulent than ours is, but there’s none more beautiful than ours is at this present time,” Ford said.
The findings give hope to Oklahoma historians that in 20 years more missing antiques will be found, including floor lamps that were on the Senate floor at one time too.