Using it all: The State Capital’s not so environmentally friendly past

Denver Capital building
Denver Capital building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Colorado State Capitol building cuts an impressive figure, clad in white marble and peaked with 200 ounces of 24 K gold. Standing atop capitol hill in downtown Denver, the 13th step of the building stands exactly a mile above sea level.

The beautiful park surrounding the Capitol building exudes environmentalism, with wide expanses of grass and trees mellowing the grays of the inner city.


But the capitol has a secret. A pink one.

"Beulah red" marble. Photo Courtesy of the Colorado State Capital
“Beulah red” marble. Photo Courtesy of the Colorado State Capital

Way back in 1893 a strange pink stone was found in the The Beulah Red Marble Quarry. It was suggested to the Capitol Building Commission that they use it instead of hardwood for the wainscoting on the inside of the State Capitol. The council liked the look of the stone so much that they used a lot of it. They used all of it.

Well, the Capital building didn’t use quite all of it, but what was left was quickly gobbled up by the old McClelland Library and the Pueblo County Courthouse who wished to have fireplace trims made of the stone.

Now the only place in the world to see “Beulah red” is in one of these three locations.