The Iowa Capitol building in Des Moines opened to visitors 134 years ago. It is now closed to the public, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports.
It’s not clear if this is the first time the Capitol has been closed to the public. There was a massive fire in the building in 1904, but damage was mainly confined to the House chamber and areas used by the Iowa Supreme Court. In October of 1918, during the Spanish flu epidemic, the Board of Health closed all schools, churches and “places of congregation” in Des Moines — which likely would have included the Capitol.