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Illinois State Capitol, Springfield

#6 of 48 in Things to do in Springfield
Government Building · Tourist Spot
The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, houses the legislative and executive branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois. The current building is the sixth to serve as the capitol building since Illinois was admitted to the United States in 1818. Built in the architectural styles of the French Renaissance and Italianate, it was designed by Cochrane and Garnsey, an architecture and design firm based in Chicago. Ground was broken for the new capitol on March 11, 1868, and the building was completed twenty years later for a total cost of $4.5 million.
The building contains the chambers for the Illinois General Assembly, which is made up of the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. An office for the Governor of Illinois, additional offices, and committee rooms are also in the building. The capitol's footprint is in the shape of a Greek cross with four equal wings. Its tall central dome, and tower roofs, are covered in zinc to provide a silvery facade which does not weather. Architecture scholar Jean A. Follett describes it as a building that "is monumental in scale and rich in detail." 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.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
668 reviews
  • The building has had extensive restoration and is beautiful. The quick, simple, free tour is perfect. Be sure to use the bathroom before you leave - perhaps the nicest bathroom you'll ever enter :)  more »
  • I love Capitols. The outside of this Capitol is nice and traditional, but the interior is a marvelously Victorian, recently refurbished, gorgeously decorated building. Informative free tours every...  more »
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