As advertised. 'Intimate Grandeur' is a coffee-table book history of Vermont's State House. While I'm sure that every state house building is noteworthy simply because of its place at the center of politics, Vermont's is a beautifully restored gem of 19th century public architecture.
I was lucky enough to have a guided tour 'after hours' of the building this past winter and was awestruck at the massive yet delicate plasterwork, the mostly-original custom lighting fixtures and furniture, all restored and converted from gas to electricty. Every detail down to the carpets were brought back after decades of neglect.
'Intimate Grandeur' is a history of the building itself, and its two predecessors, but also a history of civic responsibility and preservation. Even when fashions changed and inconvenient 'decadent' chandeliers were banished from chambers they were carefully stowed away, waiting to be rediscovered.
I picked this book up as a memento of the tour. Beautifully done.