About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Capitol" (with photographs), and other sources on the State House and Raleigh. North Carolina State Capitol was written by Howard Draper, Tour Coordinator and Historic Interpreter at the North Carolina State Capitol. The lesson was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in American history courses in units on the early National period, North Carolina state history, or early 19th-century politics and government.
Time period: Early 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To examine North Carolina's early history and discover factors that influenced the establishment of the state's permanent capital.
2) To investigate the building history of North Carolina's State House.
3) To explain why many early 19th-century public buildings in the United States were designed in the Greek Revival architectural style.
4) To locate examples of Greek Revival architecture in their own community.
5) To discover the history of their own state capitol building.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The map and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-quality version.
1) a map of North Carolina showing early meeting sites for the state legislature;
2) three readings that describe how Raleigh became the capital and how the capitol building evolved;
3) a painting and a drawing of the early capitols;
4) three photos of the capitol building today;
5) floor plans of the second and third floors of the capitol building;
6) a photo of a statue of George Washington located in the capitol building.
Visiting the site
The North Carolina State Capitol is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, on Union (Capitol) Square. The Capitol is open to the public 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, except for New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For additional information, contact the North Carolina State Capitol, 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-2807, or visit the capitol's Web page.