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CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
email: steven-parrott@uiowa.edu

Release: Dec. 17, 1999

Old Capitol Museum to be closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 18

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus will be closed to tourists beginning Thursday, Dec. 23 and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 18 to allow maintenance and preservation work to be done.

Old Capitol Museum is normally open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, and there is no admission charge. The building is closed on holidays.

Old Capitol annually attracts some 30,000 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 style. 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 July 3, 1976, as the UI's contribution to the U.S. Bicentennial. Old Capitol has been officially designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.