Old State Capitol Experience

Learn about Kentucky's Historic Capitol Building

Delve into the politics and everyday life of the tumultuous 19th-century by touring this National Historic Landmark that served as Kentucky’s capitol.

The Old State Capitol building (1830-1910) was the setting for lively political debates as lawmakers grappled with such issues of the day as slavery and war. Today it is restored to the way it looked in the early 1850s and contains pieces original to that time. A young Gideon Shryock, the state’s first native-born professionally trained architect, designed this Greek Revival building. It is the third one to have served as Kentucky’s seat of government.

Tour the Old State Capitol and:

  • Stand on the spot where Henry Clay and other legendary lawmakers rallied their colleagues.

  • Learn about the intrigue and violence surrounding the 1900 gubernatorial election.

  • Marvel at the curved, self-supporting stone stairway and other architectural features of this Kentucky limestone building.

Old State Capitol Self-Guided Tour with Audio

Want to see it from home? Watch a tour of the Old State Capitol from our Virtual Visitor page!

Two Museums to Go displays are currently on display in the Old State Capitol. Learn more about how we are celebrating President’s Day at the OSC.

Hours of Operation: Tues – Sat: 10 am – 5 pm. Self-guided tours only. Tickets must be purchased online or at the Kentucky History Center. Click here for pricing and details.