michigan state capitol
90,000 square feet
Project Completion Date
1992 National Preservation Honor Award
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1996 AIA Honor Award for design
National Historic Landmark
American state capitol buildings are unique architectural creations, expressing on a monumental scale the aspirations and ideals of American democracy. Each of the fifty capitols are the most important public building in its state. Michigan’s State Capitol was designed in 1879 by Elijah E. Myers, who has been described as “the greatest capitol-builder of the Gilded Age.” Myers also designed capitols in Colorado, Texas, Idaho and Utah.
Upon the completion in 1986 of a restoration Master Plan by Richard C. Frank, FAIA, Gene Hopkins, (with Architects Four at the time, now a principal of HBDS), was the implementing architect for the restoration of the Senate Appropriations Committee Room, Senate Offices and Ground Floor Corridors. Gene also consulted with Mr. Frank on the restoration of the Senate Chamber. The project faithfully restored the capitol’s Victorian grandeur while providing the amenities of a twenty-first century office and conference building. Gene coordinated the work of specialists in decorative painting, lighting, interiors and systems, and designed historically appropriate furniture which conceals the equipment of modern technology.
In recognition of his intimate knowledge of this special building, and his expertise in historic preservation, Gene Hopkins was appointed to the position of Architect of the Capitol in 2008 by the Michigan State Capitol Commission. The HopkinsBurns team is the architect for many ongoing restoration and renovation projects at the Michigan State Capitol, including office renovations, restoration of decorative plaster work and the design and integration of ADA accessible restrooms.