Interior work completed, Old State Capitol reopens to visitors | Government-and-politics


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Old State Capitol of Illinois reopened to visitors after the completion of interior renovations. Visitors will see a new feature, an educational gallery and a video room.

Exterior work on the building’s dome continues, but plastering and painting work on the interior has been completed, allowing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to open for tours on Thursday.

Its hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The building served as the Illinois State Capitol from 1840 to 1876. Abraham Lincoln served in the State Legislature and in 1858, as a candidate for the United States Senate, delivered his famous speech ” House Divided ”in the Hall of Representatives.

When work began in March, officials said the building would only be closed until April. But officials said the project encountered unforeseen delays, according to Historic Sites Superintendent Justin Blandford. Combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening has been delayed.

The $ 1.5 million project is under the direction of the Illinois Capital Development Board. It involves the installation of a new roof over the drum that supports the dome of the Capitol and the restoration of the columns and windows of the drum.

The education gallery and video room detail the history of the building, said Von Bandy, the state’s director of land management. An 11-minute video highlights the importance of the site in the 19th century and today.

The work outside the dome is marked by the construction scaffolding that surrounds it.

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