The California Constitution of 1849 stipulated that the first session of the new legislature be held in San Jose. In subsequent years, both Vallejo and Benicia served as the state’s capital, but the legislature found the accommodations of both locations inadequate. Legislative proceedings moved to Sacramento, which became the permanent state capital on February 25, 1854.
Sacramento County allowed the state legislature to convene in the county courthouse for the next fifteen years, while a permanent state capitol building was constructed. The front elevation shown here comprises one of the many proposals submitted to the legislature, but ultimately, in 1860, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners chose to adopt the plans of M.F. Butler. The Board appointed Reuben Clark to the position of Supervising Architect, and construction began. Unfortunately, the plans created for the present-day state capitol building are no longer in existence, having been destroyed in a fire. Identification Information: MC2:10-21, Board of State Capitol Commissioners.