NGS 2023 Pre-Conference Tour—Virginia State Capitol

March 19th, 2023 by Teresa Kelley

A walking tour of the Virginia State Capitol, which is located several blocks from the convention center, will be offered in both the morning and the afternoon on Wednesday, 31 May. Designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1785, the Capitol was first occupied in 1788. It is the second oldest working statehouse in America. In addition to seeing the underground Capitol Extension and Rotunda, Jefferson Room, Old House Chamber, and Old Senate Chamber, the tour will visit the present-day legislative chambers located in the 1906 wings. Participants can visit the monuments located on the grounds of the Capitol after the tour if they wish.

The indoor tour will be led by Capitol Guides and will last about one hour. The Capitol has been in use since 1788; therefore, all our Virginia ancestors were directly impacted by legislation created there. 

The Virginia General Assembly occupied the Capitol in 1788, and members of the Virginia executive and judicial branches moved into the building in 1789. It is the first American State Capitol designed after the Revolutionary War, and the first public building in the New World to be constructed in the form of a classical Roman temple. The east wing for the House of Delegates and the west wing for the Senate of Virginia opened in 1906 and remain in use by lawmakers today. Read more about the Virginia General Assembly on their website at

When the tour ends, attendees may remain in the area and visit the gallery on the third floor of the original Capitol to view portraits of the last 16 Governors of Virginia and to take a closer look at the Rotunda dome. They can also visit the grounds of historic Capitol Square which contains notable monuments and memorial trees dedicated to various leaders and citizens. A link to the map showing the buildings and monuments near and on Capitol Square is available on the General Assembly website

The morning tour begins at 9:45 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m. The afternoon tour begins at 1:15 p.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. Both tours leave from the Greater Richmond Convention Center. 

Registration is now open at