Old Illinois State Capitol (1837)
John Francis Rague, Architect
From my archives, Visited October 15 2004
On the eve of the Michigan Primary Election, I thought it would be fitting that I have the Old Illinois State Capital featured.
Perhaps it looks familiar? A presidential candidate kicked off his election campaign here.
If you guessed Abraham Lincoln, you are correct. He made his candidacy announcement here in 1858.
Oh, and for the younger readers….if you guessed Barack Obama, you are also correct. He officially announced his candidacy in 2007 with the grand old State House as the backdrop.
The great fluted Sugar Creek Limestone columns, with their warm golden color are weathered showing the buildings 175 years. You can just feel the history that this building has been a part of.
It is inspiring to realize that Lincoln served as State Senator here, and he pleaded cases before the State Supreme Court in this building. It was also in this building that Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech. He was elected our 16th President on November 6, 1860. He gave a “brief farewell” to friends and supporters and left Springfield by train February 11, 1861 for Washington D.C.
It was in front of this same building that Obama started his journey to Washington.
When I was there the interior was closed, but based on a tip recently from someone who has been inside, it sounds like I need to schedule a roadtrip to go back. It was described as being worth the trip. I will update the post when I get back!