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About the Film

Capitol Steps
Historical Capitol

Photo courtesy:
Idaho State Historical

Capitol of Light

Capitol of Light (2010) documents the renovation, remodeling, and expansion of the Capitol, including the addition of the new underground "wings" for senators and representatives.

Exclusive access during construction allowed our cameras to capture the painstaking efforts at restoration of some of the hidden gems of the original building, like Statuary Hall on the 4th floor.

Interviews with architects, contractors, Capitol Commission members, governors and lawmakers provide perspective; while re-enactments bring to life the remarkable John Tourtellotte, who helped create what one critic called "the best of America's capitols."

Actor M.A. Taylor became John Tourtellotte for this production, with the Capitol and the old Carnegie Library providing the backdrop for the re-enactments.

The documentary also explores the rich and colorful history surrounding Idaho's search for a capitol, dating back to events in the 1860's that threatened to split the state asunder.

Known affectionately as "the people's house," Idaho's Capitol building reopened its doors in January, 2010, after a restoration and expansion project that took more than two years and $120 million to complete.

Visitors will see a building that meets all modern safety codes while still retaining the charm and eloquence that the original architects envisioned.

Designed by architects John Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel to be "a beacon for noble ideas," the Capitol's massive sandstone walls and stately dome have withstood a century of use. But inside, the people's house was being asked to do the near impossible: to accommodate 21st century demands while still maintaining its 19th century form.

The actual work on the Capitol building commenced in 1905, under the tutelage of two dissimilar architects, John Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel. Their collaboration produced a building literally flooded with light, where "all the forces of nature are harnessed and made to serve and contribute to the welfare of man in this building."

This singular building reflects the dreams of the generation that built it; and it continues to hold our attention and love today.

You can watch this 42 minute film online at the IdahoPTV video player.

From Capital to Capitol

From Capital to Capitol (2014) chronicles the 1865 move of Idaho's territorial capital from Lewiston to Boise and explores the interplay between the Idaho Territory and the eventual creation of the state of Idaho.

"The transfer of power from Lewiston to Boise can still raise hackles about 'the stealing of the capital,'" explains producer Bruce Reichert. "This is a period of history that is crucial to understanding Idaho's destiny."

The impetus for the 12-minute video segment was the construction in Lewiston of a replica of Idaho's first territorial Capitol, which housed the first and second territorial legislative sessions. The small building, constructed by volunteer labor, was dedicated in Lewiston in July of 2013.

Historians Keith Petersen and Carole Simon-Smolinski help shed light on the conflict that erupted when Boise replaced Lewiston as Idaho's seat of government, and how decisions made 150 years ago still impact the present. Funding for this program was provided by Idaho's Capitol Commission.

You can watch this short documentary online at the IdahoPTV video player.