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The Mountain State is full of interesting and beautiful government buildings, many of which are open to the public. Built in 1924, the home of the governor of West Virginia is a traditional Georgian colonial mansion. Situated in Charleston, it’s open for tours.
One of the most unique government buildings in the state is the Olson Observation Tower, a fire lookout first built in 1922 and replaced in 1963. High clearance vehicles can drive to the tower, and while the building itself is closed to the public, anyone can walk the 133 steps up to the base of the cab, which sports 360-degree views of mountains, forest, and canyons.
Plenty of buildings in the state are on the national register of historic places. Among the best are the Charleston City Hall, the Friendly City Building, Sistersville City Hall, and the Bluefield municipal building. In Warwood, the city’s fire station was built in 1923 and showcases a unique Classical Revival style.
Several dozen county courthouses are registered landmarks – among the most striking are the Neo Colonial-style Grant County Courthouse in Petersburg, which was built in 1878, and the picturesque and unusual Kanawha County Courthouse in Charleston.
The West Virginia State Capitol, located in downtown Charleston's capitol plaza, was built between 1924 and 1932. This historic complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The historic red-brick West Virginia Executive Mansion, also known as the Governor's Mansion, is the official residence for the West Virginia Governor.
Visit the complex to tour the capitol building, view the Abraham Lincoln statue, the Stonewall Jackson statue, the fountains and the historic Holly Grove Mansion.