First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Plans announced for Capitol Centennial Celebration

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 04, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

FRANKFORT, Ky. — First Lady Jane Beshear, joined by former Governor Martha Layne Collins, today announced events planned to mark the 100th anniversary of Kentucky’s State Capitol building during the Capitol Centennial Celebration on June 4-5, 2010.

“Steve and I are proud to host the Capitol Centennial Celebration to commemorate the landmark anniversary of our majestic statehouse,” said Mrs. Beshear. “We’re pleased to announce a weekend celebration dedicated to the centennial and we encourage and welcome families to visit their Capitol any time.  After all, the building is designed to serve all Kentuckians as the home to the Supreme Court, both chambers of the General Assembly, the Governor and other constitutional officers.”

An estimated 20,000 proud Kentuckians and dignitaries were on hand for the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the June 2, 1910 dedication of the Capitol after five years of construction.

To kick off the weekend, the Capitol Centennial Gala will be held in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m.  During the event, the Governor and First Lady will officially reveal four privately funded murals that will be a permanent addition to the State Capitol’s Rotunda.

The new murals are the Capitol Centennial Commission’s legacy project.  The cost of the design, production and installation of the murals is a gift from private donors Marion and Terry Forcht of Corbin, Ky.  The four themes of the murals are nature, industry, civilization and culture.  EverGreene Architectural Arts of New York City will complete the project.

“Murals were included in the original design concept for the Capitol Rotunda when construction was completed in 1910, but lack of funding and twists of fate had caused the framed pendentive corners of the dome to remain bare until now,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “This generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Forcht is a remarkable way to honor our Capitol’s Centennial, but the legacy of these murals will continue to be celebrated by so many generations of Kentuckians.”

The gala is being solely funded by the Kentucky Executive Mansions Foundation Inc. (KEMFI), a nonprofit organization, and corporate and private sponsors.  A wine bar will be provided by Kentucky winery Lover’s Leap.  Tickets for the gala are $75 per person or $150 per couple.  No public funds will be used to support the event.

Saturday, June 5 will be a day of free, family-oriented activities on the Capitol grounds.  Beginning at 10 a.m., visitors can peruse the Kentucky Proud farmer’s market, Kentucky Crafted Artists’ displays, an antique car show and tour the Kentucky Historical Society’s History Mobile.  The Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Entertainment will be provided on multiple stages and local high school and university bands will perform.  Invited speakers will talk about the climate, traditions and architectural styles that influenced our state and country 100 years ago.

Beginning at 2 p.m., Steve Collins, chairman of the Historic Properties Advisory Commission and son of former Governor Martha Layne Collins, will serve as the master of ceremonies.  Anticipated special guests include: Gov. and First Lady Beshear; former Kentucky governors, first ladies and their families; Senate President David Williams; Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo; Chief Justice John Minton; Frankfort Mayor Gippy Graham; and Franklin County Judge Executive Ted Collins.  All constitutional officers and legislators have also been invited to attend the Capitol Centennial Celebration.

Also in attendance will be the family of former Kentucky Governor James B. McCreary.  He served as the state's 27th and 37th governor, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator.  He was the only Kentucky governor to serve from both the Old State Capitol and the present state capitol, and was the first Kentucky governor to inhabit the current Executive Mansion.

The contents of the Centennial “Virtual” Time Capsule will also be revealed on June 5.  Coordinated by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet with the enthusiastic support of First Lady Jane Beshear, the capsule will capture recollections of Kentuckians from all 120 counties.  This information will take the form of photos, audio recollections or videos.  Once compiled, the information will be posted on a Virtual Time Capsule Web site until Dec. 31, 2010.  At that time, the information will be transferred to the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives where it will be made available for future generations to “open” and view.

Throughout the weekend, several centennial collectable items and memorabilia will be available for purchase including: lapel pins, Capitol Centennial Celebration decorative plates, a special centennial ornament, posters and books about Kentucky’s state Capitol building and the Capitol buildings of all 50 states.

Today the First Lady also unveiled the new Capitol Web site,  The site contains information about the Capitol Centennial Celebration and will also be a permanent site for information about the capitol building with virtual tours and resources to schedule a visit.

For more information about the Capitol Centennial Celebration or to purchase tickets to the gala, visit or call (502) 564-5500.

KEMFI is a 501(c)(3) organized to undertake, promote and assist financially and otherwise the modification to the restoration, maintenance and preservation of public buildings, sites, structures, places and objects of historic significance owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.