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Commemoration Commission Discusses Plans To Celebrate Capitol’s 100th Anniversary

Possible Celebrations Include Gala, Centennial Garden, Pop-Up Gift Shop

Wisconsin State Capitol
Dave (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The State Capitol Commemoration Commission held its first meeting Thursday to plan the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the capitol building.

The 11 members discussed ways Wisconsin would celebrate the centennial next year. Ideas included opening a pop-up gift shop or creating a time capsule that would be opened 50 years from now.

Member Ellsworth Brown, who is also director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, said it’s important to celebrate the building because it’s a place people from all political parties share.

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“This is one of these things that (is) nonpartisan,” Brown said. “Everybody shares this building, everybody works in this building, and it’s the capitol for everybody.”

Other ideas included a gala, centennial garden, and Wisconsin history tours at the capitol. Brown thinks the best celebrations are the ones that will enable the entire state to get involved.

“It’s important to make sure that the celebration reaches everybody in Wisconsin,” Brown said. “I like the ideas that reach out for, whether it’s competition or other broad ways, of participating in this celebration”

To broaden the audience, the commission discussed a possible drawing competition for 4th graders around the state to design a logo for the anniversary. Other plans focused on an online component where people could take a 360-degree tour of the capitol if they couldn’t visit in person.

The next commission meeting is tentatively scheduled for November.