THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBERS
The Wisconsin State Assembly is located in the west wing of the state Capitol on the second floor. There are ninety-nine representatives who serve the people of Wisconsin in the lower chamber of the legislature. Each of the members is elected every two years. The Speaker of the Assembly is selected by the members and presides over the sessions from the large desk in front of the chambers. Republicans sit near the windows and Democrats sit near the chamber doors. The furnishings of the room are all original including the representatives' desks, Speaker’s desk and the Assembly Clerk’s podium.
The Wisconsin Assembly was the first in the country to have an electronic voting machine. It was first installed in the chambers in 1917. Many upgrades were made to the system including the large voting boards that were in place in 1939. A comprehensive renovation of the chamber was done in 1988 and additional work on the decorative painting in the chamber in 1995. Visitors to the chamber are welcome to watch their representatives from the third floor galleries.
Other features that you’ll see in the chamber are the white marble walls made of Dover marble from New York and the columns made of Italian marble. The ceiling features a 36’ circular skylight, the largest skylight in the Capitol. In the front of the chamber is a mural called “Wisconsin”. The large painting depicts the past, present and future of the state.
Below the mural is a replica of a famous eagle. He’s named “Old Abe”; he was a mascot during the Civil War in Wisconsin. Legend says that he would rally the troops from the 8th Infantry Regiment from Eau Claire. He survived the war and was given to the Governor in the second Madison Capitol.