The figure has been the centerpiece of the rotunda since 1883. It's being removed after legislative leaders decided it is out of place "given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations."
Crews arrived early Tuesday morning to safely remove the statue made of marble.
Statues have been coming down across the country as government leaders rethink their places of prominence. Over the weekend, protesters in Baltimore pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the city's Inner Harbor.
Statues of other historical figures such as Father Junipero Serra have also been taken or torn down due to his historical involvement in enslaving and killing the native people of California. Some scholars say this could be the start of a healing process for many oppressed communities.