Old capital shows Tallahassee politics

About the Florida Historic Capital Museum

Curator Michelle Purvis and exhibit project manager Andy Edel explain the museum's attributes.

When Britain was in control of Florida from 1763 to 1983, they divided the land into separate political regions with two capitals, one in St. Augustine and one in Pensacola. When the territory joined American rule, the 400 miles that separated the capitals became an inconvenience.

Halfway between the two cities was Tallahassee, and because of this location it was declared the new capital of Florida in 1824.

In 1839, congress gave $20,000 for the construction of a suitable capital building. Six years later the capital was completed, and William Moseley was the first elected governor.

Over the years, the building has seen many changes from its original brick structure. In 1982, the capital was restored to its 1902 look and made into a museum.

It now sits in the shadows of the 22-story new capital building. The museum has preserved the old Senate and House of Representatives rooms, to allow visitors to see what the legislature atmosphere was like in the early 1900s.

Its classical dome is a feature that many Tallahassee residents recognize.

A volunteer at the Florida Historic Capital Museum talks about the history of the building to a school group.
A volunteer at the Florida Historic Capital Museum tells a school group about the history of the building.

The Florida Historic Capital Museum's Hours of Operation

Open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday and Holidays from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.


The Florida Historic Capital Museum is located on 400 South Monroe Street. It is in front of the current 22-story capital building down Apalachee Parkway.

Entrance Fees

Free to everyone

For more information call 850-487-1902 or visit the Florida Historic Capital Museum website.