Oklahoma state Capitol dome campaigner dies

Carol Maxine Boone Gwin, who successfully spearheaded a 15-year crusade to raise private funds to put a dome on Oklahoma's state Capitol, died New Year's Day in Oklahoma City.
by Randy Ellis Modified: January 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm •  Published: January 3, 2014
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Carol Maxine Boone Gwin, who successfully spearheaded a 15-year crusade to raise private funds to put a dome on Oklahoma's state Capitol, died New Year's Day in her Oklahoma City apartment. She was 98.

“Oklahomans should be thankful for the commitment and tireless hard work of Carol Gwin,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “Her grassroots effort helped Oklahomans realize the importance and significance of adding a dome to complete our beautiful Capitol building. Her passion ultimately led more than 10 years later to the project that built the dome on the Capitol. My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends during this time of loss.”

Original plans for Oklahoma's Capitol building called for it to be crowned with a dome, but it opened without one in 1917 after the construction project ran into funding problems.

For 85 years, it was the only state Capitol designed for a dome that didn't have one.

Gwin devoted a good portion of 15 years of her life to making sure that was corrected.

“Carol was absolutely the most gracious lady you could ever know,” said Capitol Preservation Commissioner Paul Meyer, who served as the Capitol architect for 25 years. “She was also the most tenacious woman I have ever known and she was always a gracious lady as she did it.”

Meyer said he was the state Capitol architect in the mid-1980s when Gwin first approached him about raising funds to put a dome on the building.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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