Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Approaching the State Capitol...

Lincoln was a tall, lean man!

Lovely rotunda...

Looking up...The stained glass consists of 9,000 pieces...

From the 1st floor, the dome is 361 feet, to the flag...

Lovely marble columns...

Entering the House Gallery...

It is beautiful...

Stained glass in the House...

The Czechoslovakian chandeliers are 17.5 feet long & weigh 750 pounds each!

Back on the 4th floor level, a better view of the statuary...

Entering the Senate Gallery now...

We're enjoying a personal tour with Dorothy!

You'll notice the Senate rates roll top desks...

One of the lovely ceiling panels...

Back outside the Senate we once again look up toward the dome...

Notice the time depictions all around the base of the dome...

This 20x40 foot mural depicts a peace treaty with Native Americans in...

We've now been invited into the new Senate office area I mentioned...

You are looking at the ceiling...

There are additional Senate offices upstairs to your right. Check out the...

Very elaborate. Cost to do this renovation? A bunch! They only meet...

Moving along, this pic of George Washington was lost for many years....

Moving into the old Supreme Court, now used as a senate committee...

Another elaborate ceiling...

The Goddess of Justice...

Note the printing 'Justice' on the wallpaper...

One last peek at the ceiling work. How on earth does a...

One last look at this elaborate ceiling before moving on...

This is where the Governor works...

A peek into his office to the left...

And to the right...

Outside the Capitol, circling around to the back...

One of several bronzes, this one dedicated to the firemen...

Taking a little break...

The new Gold doors, causing alot of controversy!

Walking around out front again...

Another od the bronzes, this one dedicated to the Coal Miner's...

This little guys cracked us up. It was like he was protecting...

Hope you enjoyed our little tour. State capitol building all have their...


Today's post covers the Illinois State Capitol, the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of the government. The current building is the sixth capitol of the state since its admission as a state in 1818. Like many others, this capitol is in the architectural style of the French Renaissance. Ground was first broken on March 11, 1869, and it was completed twenty years later for a total cost of $4,500,000.

The capitol dome is covered in zinc to provide a silvery facade which does not weather. The interior of the dome features a plaster frieze painted to resemble bronze, which illustrates scenes from Illinois history, and stained glass windows (including a stained glass replica of the state seal in the oculus of the dome). The seal featured in the top of the dome is the seal used by Illinois prior to the American Civil War. It differs from the modern seal in that the phrase "State Sovereignty" is above the phrase "National Union." After the Civil War, the legislature voted to reverse these phrases as they professed that National Union was the more important of these two concepts. I'm glad they kept it the old way!

With a total height of 361 feet, the Illinois capitol is the tallest non-skyscraper capitol, even exceeding the height of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. The dome itself is 92.5 feet wide, and is supported by solid bedrock, 25.5 feet below the surface. It is the highest (though not the tallest) building in Sangamon County. A city statute does not allow buildings to be built higher than the Capitol building. The building itself is shaped like a Latin cross aligned to the major compass directions, and measures 379 feet from the north end to the south end, and 268 feet from the east end to the west end. The capitol occupies a nine acre plot of land which forms the lovely capitol grounds.

Free tours are given several times a day and today Larry & I were fortunate enough to be the only one's there wanting a tour. So, we got a personal tour from Dorothy, a very knowledgeable lady, who has given tours at the Capitol for over 10 years. The tour lasted 30 minutes and included stops at the Illinois Supreme Court, Senate and House of Representatives. There has been a 2 year renovation going on, which included some Senate offices, and the boarded off entry finally came down today. So Larry & I were the first two 'public' to see these offices unveiled! They were actually still in process of decorating & unpacking some boxes but allowed us inside anyway. And, they let me take photos. Very nice...

Moving on, the tour took us to several life size statues of prominent people in Illinois history and many other features of the statehouse, ranging from extensive paintings, murals, exquisite railings, columns, frescos, etc. My favorite were the Senate and House galleries. The Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers in the house gallery were spectacular, weighing in at 750 pounds each!

This Capitol building was definitely worth seeing. Not as beautiful as the Iowa Capitol in my humble opinion, but lovely just the same. It was a nice way to end our time here in Springfield. Tomorrow we move on to Indiana. Actually, we're already here, but for posting purposes we move on!



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