The Hawaii House of Representatives is opening the chamber to visitors as a pilot project for the rest of this month. Guests will be able to tour the gallery area each day regardless of whether the House is in session. At the end of the month, a decision will be made whether to continue with the expanded access.
Before this, visitors were able to see the beautiful chamber only when the House was in session. The legislature meets each year from January to May but the House is only in session limited hours even during that time. If the pilot project is successful, visitor access could be continued year-round.
According to the House press release, “We have Hawaii Vacationers and residents coming to the Capitol every day,” said Speaker of the House Calvin Say. “Normally, the only opportunity to view the beautiful architecture and symbolism of our House Chamber is during floor session. Unfortunately, not everyone can schedule their visits around that time. We are implementing this pilot project so that everyone will have access to the Chamber during regular daily business hours.”
There will not be an official tour, however visitors to the Chamber will have access to look around, take pictures, and pick up a brochure explaining the history and symbolism of the Chamber architecture and design. The entire capitol building is a very unique building with design elements that reflect its location in Hawaii. I recommend it to everyone as an easy, quick detour near Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha statue in downtown Honolulu. Being able to see inside the House chamber will be a nice addition.