Secret rooms revealed on behind-the-scenes State Capitol tour
Hidden deep inside the State Capitol are steep staircases that lead to secret rooms and dark attics littered with broken whiskey bottles and names carved into wooden walls. These spaces, filled with North Carolina's history, are typically off limits, even to tour groups.Posted — Updated
But a few times a year, the State Capitol opens its doors for behind-the-scenes tours that leave little to the imagination. State Capitol Historian Tiffianna Honsinger leads the tours and says she has to warn visitors about what they're going to experience.
"I like to tell people, ‘If you’re afraid of the dark or tight spaces, then you need to let me know, because I’m going to find out in just a second,'" she said.
Honsinger is giving four behind-the-scenes tours on Saturday, and they are all sold out. The next behind-the-scenes tour is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Each tour is limited to 10 people due to the tight spaces. Children under 10 are not allowed. Tickets are $15 each.
"The stairs are wooden and very old, so you’ll feel them dip in places," she warned before making her way up the steep stairs.
"Jump over the edge of the stairwell," she instructed, before making the tricky step from the stairs into a small door in the wall that leads to a porthole overlooking the rotunda.
"If you want, I offer to people on the tour to scoot on their stomachs and take a picture," she said.
Anyone taking the tour should wear comfortable clothes and shoes due to the amount of walking in tight, hot spaces.
"It’s quite a maneuvering feat," Honsinger said.