Kaylee Mead drives her usual 45-minute commute from Brighton to Lansing every morning on her way to work and said there is one thing she always notices — the Michigan State Capitol. Mead has been interning and working at the Capitol for three years now and said that every morning her commute is worth it because she loves driving in and seeing the State Capitol building accompanied by a beautiful sunrise. “Not growing up around here, I never thought of Lansing as much more than the Capitol of Michigan,” Mead said. “Now that I drive here every morning, I love seeing the Capitol building because it is familiar and actually really pretty.”
According to Mead, she and others in her office think of the Capitol building as iconic. “I hope that most people would think of the Capitol as an icon and make a point to visit it if they aren’t from around here,” Mead said.
“Statues, what statues?” was what Kaylee Mead, legislative aide to State Rep. Tom Leonard, (R-DeWitt) said when asked about the historical statue pieces located on the front lawn of the Michigan State Capitol. “I have never noticed any statues before and I walk past them everyday,” Mead said. “I don’t know if anyone really notices them because we are all just focused on what we have to do for the day.”
Michigan State University advertising junior Ben Grider said he grew up in this area and had taken many trips to the state Capitol in grade school but does not remember any of the outside ornaments being explained in his tour. “I definitely have noticed the statues before because I thought that they were interesting but I never have known what they mean or why they are there,” Grider said. “ I think some students might notice them but I doubt anyone pays much attention to them.”
Austin Blair is the subject of the statue right down the front walkway of the Capitol Building and was chosen for this spot because he was the governor of Michigan during the Civil War, according to Phil Goodrich, legislative director to Leonard.