Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour
The Colorado capitol has the distinction of being the only state capitol situated exactly one mile above sea level. To honor this, capitol officials, under the advisement of Professor Herbert A. Howe, marked the mile high step with a brass plaque on the top flight of steps at the west entrance. After vandals had stolen the plaque four times, James Merrick, superintendent of public buildings in 1947, hired a craftsman to carve the "one mile above sea level" inscription into the stone step. When the project was finished he was heard saying, "I'd like to see someone carry this one away."
In 1969 engineering students from Colorado State University found that the inscription was not exactly a mile high, and as such a geodetic survey plug has been embedded three steps higher than the original inscription. This plug is exactly 5,280 feet high.
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last modified June 20, 2003