searching for scholars who could talk with some authority about
state capitols, MotionMasters hit the jackpot with William Seale.
historian and architectural restorationist, he has visited and
researched each state capitol. He is the author of "Temples
of Democracy," a comprehensive book about our nation's
50 state capitols.
crew traveled to the nation's capital to interview William and
get his unique perspective on West Virginia's Capitols for the
documentary. While we were there, we also shot footage of the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Supreme Court, which also
were designed by Cass Gilbert, the architect for the present
day West Virginia Capitol.
the documentary, the author talks about why it was so important
for West Virginia to have such a grand building. One of the
glories of building a great expensive state Capitol was it secured
the city as the capital. If you put a little bitty one or made
it mobile with wheels, it would get moved one morning while
you're still in bed and the city fathers wouldn't know where
it went. It would be in the town down the road.
is early on — this is one of the reasons for state capitols
is the people get together and they wanted to build this building
and the heavier it is it can't be moved — get the state
involved in it so it will stay there."
He talks about the controversy over building such a masterpiece
in the midst of the Great Depression and how it was embraced
by citizens because "it's meant to make you feel strong
and proud when you go in it."
author also offers his insights about Gilbert, a man he describes
as an unusual architect who was an artist and a tough businessman
all rolled into one.