Springfield Historic Sites - Old State Capitol
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IL State Capitol

IL State Capitol

2nd & Capitol
Springfield, IL

Arguably the most important building in Springfield, the impressive dome of the Illinois State Capitol Building rising 361 feet above the ground can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.  This dome is located over the rotunda which is in the center of a large cross.  The central rotunda separates the north, south, east, and west wings which comprise the cross and are all three stories in height.  Mansard roofs cap the ends of the north and south wings.  The architectural style has been described as a synthesis of eighteenth century baroque and nineteenth century classical that was common in public buildings constructed in the period following the Civil War.  Despite various renovations over the years, the Capitol looks much as it did when completed in 1888.  The interior of the building also looks much as it did in 1888 and has numerous murals, sculptures, and paintings commemorating the history of the State of Illinois and this seat of state government.  

Both the architecture and the role of the building in politics and government are key to the significance of the State Capitol.  The first story of the building houses offices and hearing rooms of the General Assembly.  The second story houses the executive offices of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Lieutenant Governor, the Treasurer, and the Comptroller.  The former home of the Illinois Supreme Court on the second floor is used for legislative hearings.  The entire third floor is devoted to use by the legislature.  The chambers of both the House and Senate are extremely ornate and plush.  As the seat of government, the Capitol Building is open to the public and tours are offered daily except for holidays.