The Construction Begins.

Preparatory Work

Ground was broken in October, 1894. More than a year passed before a cornerstone was laid, in November, 1895. Records indicate that a copper box containing contemporary newspapers, legislative documents, plans, and reports was placed under the north tower of the center building. This "time capsule" has never been found.

The estimated total construction cost was $543,000, and appropriations were to be made annually as outlays were necessary. The initial appropriation, in 1894, provided $125,000. Further appropriations of $200,000 and $150,000 were made in 1895 and 1896. No money was sent the next two years.

It was several years before the 700-foot long stone building was erected and roofed, but it still was without floors, doors, and windows. Finally, after six years, a portion of the central structure and the north wing was made ready for occupancy.

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