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Room 121 Furnishings Audio Transcript

Adjacent to the main rotunda, this room houses the “Furnishings” exhibit and contains examples of some of the furnishings, used at the Historic Capitol throughout the years. Unfortunately, very few of the original furnishings have survived, as most were either sold at auction or as surplus during the multiple remodelings. However, a few interesting items remain, including William Knott’s original roll-top desk which is on the right as you enter the room. Manufactured in Indianapolis, Indiana by the Wooten Company, this desk features specially made rotary cylinders for extra storage. William Knott worked here for over forty years both as Comptroller and Treasurer. Also in the room, take notice of one of the original 1902 House of Representatives desks near the entrance. It was used for 37 years in this Capitol and then the desk was sold as surplus and used as a speaker’s podium by a Boy Scout troop in Quincy, Florida. When they donated it back to the Capitol Museum, it was inspected and found that not a single Boy Scout had carved his name into the desk. However, the names of two State Senators were found inscribed in the drawer. The other large oak desk, to the left as you walk into the room, is possibly the Sergeant-at-Arms desk from 1902. It was found listed on invoices but was not found in any of the photographs from that period.

In the exhibit cases you will find other original pieces that were used as models during the reconstruction in the 1970s. The wrought-iron coat rack dates back to the Governor’s Office in the 1940s. Finally, the large picture of Andrew Jackson, by Andrew Townsend Hutchins, dated 1928, is a copy of the famous portrait by Thomas Sully. Sully’s portrait hangs at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Andrew Jackson served as Florida’s first military Governor and this painting hung behind the Senate President’s desk from 1929 through the 1970s. While this painting is a striking image of Andrew Jackson as a Governor, after a few minutes many eyes wonder to the white glove apparently thrown on the ground.

In 1902, this was the Office for the Commissioner of Agriculture, Benjamin McLin. Family photographs of Commissioner McLin from this period aided tremendously in the restoration of the building in the 1980s.