July 22

A family portrait backdrop

Can you imagine the collection of family photos that would show families in this same position on the steps of the North Dakota State Capitol?  It is one of North Dakota’s most photographed backdrops.  By itself, it’s a towering monolith, 17 stories of granite rising above the prairies.  It looks as though it belongs in downtown New York not the prairies of  N.D.  It’s Capitol #2 because the first capitol building that looked much more like you would expect with pillars and stone scrollwork burned down in 1930.  So, the pragmatic and functional characteristics of North Dakotans prevailed and an office building was built for $9 million.

On the left is the legislative wing of the capital.  The tower is the executive branch.  Off to the right outside of the scope of this image is the judicial wing of the capital.  Each of the three branches with their own architectural image.

The family on the steps is posed where so many families stand for their photos.  They are just above the flower bed that spells out in red “North Dakota.”

Have you had your photo taken here?  What is the prominent family portrait backdrop where you live?