Dolores Crow of Nampa is a member of the Capitol Commission and is a former Idaho State Representative. This interview was conducted in February of 2009.
Having just taken a tour of the unfinished Capitol, what do you think? The colors, I think, have fascinated me more than anything. How the color brings out the woodwork. All of the intricacies of the plaster is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm really excited about it. I said I think I'm going to have to run for office again, so I can live over here for a while. But then on second thought, I'd have more time if I didn't. I could just come over and browse!
Your history with this building goes back a ways. It was about the time that Samuelson was taking office, and so I got to watch his inaugural speech from upstairs here in one of the windows that now is opened again. As a kid I can remember coming up here and looking at the old depot down there from what is now the gallery, the domed gallery. Just so many things that I didn't even know I could remember, you know.
The House, of course, is where I spent a lot of years here; and it is magnificent, and I had seen the dome up there from the second dance floor up early on, and it had just been painted, and I couldn't believe it was that beautiful, but from down now on the floor looking up it is even more beautiful. The colors that were chosen are the original colors and whoever did that, in their day certainly had an eye for beauty. It brings out all of the depth of the plaster.
The wood is beautiful in this building, and they've brought all that back and have done a marvelous job of where it had been damaged with lowering the ceilings, they've gone in and re-tooled that. You can't even tell it. It's beautiful. It's something we can be proud of for the next hundred years - well, somebody can, I won't be.
And they've brought in more light. Yes, in the stairwells out there, I couldn't believe it. I didn't even know those windows were up there, so they've been covered up a long time. Yeah, light is probably one of the things that is the most different.
What have you learned by being a member of the Capitol Commission? I kind of came in late, but oh my, to me it's such a privilege to be able to do this and kind of spin forward my time here in this building. It's just something I never dreamed of. I voted to put that into place, by the way, and that was fun, and to fund it, and how it was funded. So this is kind of just the fruition of that work, and I expect to be able to enjoy this beauty for a long time.
What will the citizens of Idaho think about this? I think they are going to be excited. For one thing, we're on time, the project is on time, it's coming in on time; but it's on budget, and you know how I like that. It's on budget, and in some places below budget, and that's even nicer. But we're getting quality for that. These people who are doing this are doing a fantastic job, and it isn't an easy job, but all these little rosettes around that are made out of plaster, they had to redo those and rewire them and they now all have little lights in them.
I think they will be shocked to see how much prettier it is than even it was. We used to have visitors come in here in the summertime, and a lot of times I'd come over and work at my desk on the floor in the summer; and when they would come in, they would kind of creep in, and I'd say, 'oh come on in and look.' I was proud of this building and they'd say, 'ah, this is gorgeous. We've been to a lot of state buildings, but this is the most beautiful.' How can you beat that?