Feast Your Eyes on These Hidden Treasures in Iowa's Capitol

Otherwise known as the MVP of library staircases.

iowa law library
Michelle Arnold

You know that scene from Beauty and the Beast where for the first time? We experienced that same giddy emotion when we spotted the winding iron staircases in the . It started with a serious jaw drop and ended with a sigh of contentment as we decided to add this to our dreamy-design-places-to-visit bucket list.

The two staircases (one on the north end and another on the south) were built back between 1882 and 1883 by Haugh, Ketchum and Company of Indianapolis for just $2,107. And (fun fact) even though cast iron might seem like a common material choice, at the time they were built it was relatively new to architectural design. Now, the staircases provide a means for people to travel up and down the four ornate balconies that help make this one of the biggest libraries in the United States and home to more than 100,000 volumes (no big deal).

Take a closer look:

iowa library
MICHELLE ARNOLD

spiral staircase
MICHELLE ARNOLD

Want to visit these beauties in person? The library is Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and we guarantee you'll feel like a Disney princess as soon as you enter.

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