PRESS RELEASE — Monday, January 4, 2010
For Information Call Anne Peterson at 208-373-7368
or Bob Evancho at 373-7369
The Idaho State Capitol's story — its history, construction and restoration — is airing this week on Idaho Public Television to coincide with the building's rededication ceremony.
CAPITOL OF LIGHT premieres Thursday (January 7) at 7:00/8:00 p.m. MT/PT on IdahoPTV's main channel and in high definition at 8:00/7:00 p.m. MT/PT on the HD channel. The 30-minute IdahoPTV-produced documentary repeats Saturday (January 9) at 6:00/5:00 p.m. immediately preceding the evening re-broadcast of the Capitol Rededication. It also airs Saturday on the HD channel at 9:00/8:00 p.m. MT/PT.
"It's amazing how much of our state's history can be told through this one building," said executive producer Bruce Reichert. "We scoured the historical archives for photos dating back more than 140 years. In this program not only do you learn about the building blocks of the Capitol; you also learn about some of the forces at work that created a State."
Given exclusive access during the just-completed two-year renovation, remodeling and expansion of the Capitol, IdahoPTV cinematographers captured the painstaking efforts to restore some of the hidden gems of the original building, like Statuary Hall on the fourth floor. The show also documents work that brings 21st century utilities to the venerable building and the two new 25,000 square-foot underground wings that offer public hearing facilities, committee meeting rooms and offices.
Built of sandstone from the Boise Foothills and designed by Idaho architects John Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel to be "a beacon for noble ideas," the Statehouse doors re-open Saturday (January 9) to celebrate 97 years as "the People's House."
Tourtellotte dreamed of a building of light. "The great white light of conscience must be allowed to shine and by its interior illumination make clear the path of duty," he said. Hummel's classical architecture training and engineering expertise made the dome a reality that brings light streaming into the rotunda, now fully revealed by the renovation.
"We thought it important to make John Tourtellotte come alive to viewers, since it was his design that first captivated Idahoans 100 years ago and his concepts that continued to guide this latest renovation effort," Reichert said. "For our program, actor M.A. Taylor became our Tourtellotte. It was a magical re-enactment, much of it shot in the nearby Carnegie Library building that the architect also designed."
In addition to the program, there is a Web site at idahoptv.org (idahoptv.org/productions/specials/capitoloflight/) with photos, interviews and articles that illuminate the construction, renovation and history of the structure. There is also a preview of an educational game for young students.
"Our capitol is elegant, inspiring, even reverential. It asks the best of us. Anyone who doubts that need only stand in the rotunda and look up," Reichert said.
Funding for CAPITOL OF LIGHT is provided by the people of Idaho through the Idaho Capitol Commission, by the friends of Idaho Public Television, and by the Idaho Public Television Endowment.