JACKSON – The U.S. Department of Interior today named the Mississippi State Capitol as a National Historic Landmark, a rare designation marking the building’s architectural significance.

The Mississippi Legislature and the Department of Archives and History applied for the designation from the National Park Service. There are about 2,500 National Historic Landmarks in the United States.

“Walking into the Capitol every day, I am always impressed by the beauty of the architecture and the significance of the history within the walls of this structure,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “This designation ensures this beautiful building, and all of the history contained within, will be preserved for future Mississippians to enjoy.”

The designation means the building will be eligible for federal funds if damaged in a presidentially declared disaster.

“The Mississippi Capitol is one of the most beautiful in the country,” House Speaker Philip Gunn said. “I am in awe of its beauty and proud to come to work here each day.”

Since 1969, the Capitol has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 90,000 sites are on the Register, which includes buildings, archaeology sites and objects deemed worthy of preservation.

Designed in 1900 by St. Louis architect Theodore Link, the Mississippi Capitol was one of the earliest state capitols built in the style of Beaux Arts Classicism, which came to dominate American public architecture in the early 20th Century. Beaux Arts designers tried to integrate the arts into their classical buildings, including sculpture, stained glass, and mosaic marble floors, as seen at the State Capitol. The building was constructed from 1901 to 1903 for $1 million, which was funded through a tax lawsuit settlement with Illinois Central Railroad.

The building was designed to house all branches of state government. Currently, only the Legislature, the ceremonial office of the Governor, and an office of the Secretary of State operate in the Capitol.

More than 25,000 visitors from around the world tour the Capitol annually. To schedule a tour, contact Visitors Services at (601) 359-3114 or email [email protected]