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.
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.