The Michigan State Capitol redesign that never was


The Michigan State Capitol building, in all of its Neoclassical glory, is so emblematic of governance in the state that we were shocked to discover a series of fortress-like buildings were once floated as its possible replacement. According to old newspaper articles compiled by Michigan State University journalism student Andrew Roth, the state budgeted for a redesign in the 1960s and a variety of building proposals were put forward by the architectural firm Smith, Hinchman, & Grylls. The images in this gallery are scanned renderings of four of the designs presented by the firm.

Ultimately, plans for a new Capitol were scrapped when former Governor William Milliken called for the restoration of the existing building in the '80s. The upgraded Capitol was named a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

Scans provided by Andrew Roth via the Library of Michigan.