Springfield Historic Sites - Old State Capitol
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St. Nicholas Hotel

St. Nicholas Hotel

400 East Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL

The St. Nicholas Hotel is located on the southeast corner of  Fourth and Jefferson Streets in downtown Springfield.  The original St. Nicholas was built on this site in 1855.  The present complex is made up of an annex building (1910), the main section (1924), and the lobby wing (1931).  The 1924 section is considered the most important.  The structure was designed by the firm of H. L. Stevens of New York City which was a specialist in hotel buildings.  The building is a restrained Georgian revival and is 11 stories tall plus a penthouse.  The annex is six stories tall and is also done in a neo-classical style.  The St. Nicholas was the State Capitol’s largest and most important hotel from the pre-motel era  and is the only intact hotel building remaining in Springfield from that period of time.  Much of its prominence comes from the proximity to the railroad station which served as the front door to the city.  The building attracted thousands of guests over the years including many notables such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Carl Sandberg, and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.  The hotel became a major gathering place for legislators and was renowned as an unofficial State House annex due to the political activity that took place within its walls.  In 1970, it became the focus of nationwide attention when $800,000 was found in shoe boxes in the room of the recently deceased Paul Powell, former Illinois Secretary of State.  Today the structure is used as an apartment building.  The exteriors of both the main building and the annex are amazingly intact with all details in place.