Springfield Historic Sites - Old State Capitol
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Old State Capitol

Old State Capitol

One Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, IL

Designed by local architect, J. F. Rague, the Old State Capitol was built of local stone from 1837 to 1853 for $260,000.  With its majestic classical columns and exterior details, this Greek Revival-style building has abundant Lincoln associations.  In addition, to attending legislative sessions in the building, Lincoln sometimes argued cases before the Supreme Court, which also met in the Capitol.  It was also in this building that Lincoln first confronted Stephen A. Douglas, his rival for the Presidency in 1860.  Lincoln made his “House Divided” speech here, maintained an office after election to the Presidency, and his body rested here on May 3-4, 1865, before burial at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  In 1869, the Old State Capitol was sold to Sangamon County and served as the County Court House for nearly a century.  In 1961, the State repurchased the building and restored it to its original appearance.  The building was dismantled in 1966 and rebuilt with a modern physical plant and staff facilities.  Currently, the building is a museum but was used by the House of Representatives for Fall Veto Session of 2006 due to remodeling in the current Illinois State Capitol Building.