The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield houses the executive and legislative branches of Illinois state government. Did you know…
- The current Capitol building is the sixth in Illinois’ history. The first was in Kaskaskia, the next three in Vandalia, and the last two in Springfield.
- Ground was broken on March 11, 1868, and the building was completed 20 years later. The total cost was $4.5 million.
- At 361 feet tall (not including the flagstaff), it is the tallest non-skyscraper capitol in the country—even taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
- Coal was mined on the Capitol grounds after it was discovered during excavation for the building’s foundation. Several tons were used to heat construction headquarters on-site.
- The dome’s interior features a plaster frieze, painted to resemble bronze, illustrating scenes from Illinois history, and stained glass windows, including a stained-glass replica of the state seal.
- In 2011, the building underwent $50 million in renovations, including life safety, electrical and plumbing upgrades, as well as architectural improvements to bring it closer to its original appearance. For these efforts, it became the first state capitol to achieve LEED Gold certification.
The Illinois State Capitol is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm, and Saturday, 9am to 3pm. Tours are given every half hour (except noon to 1pm), and admission is free. Learn more about the Capitol building at ilstatehouse.com. iBi