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“Another National Treasure”

Old State Capitol State Historic Site
Ranked #6 of 63 things to do in Springfield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Painstakingly rebuilt after being disassembled in the 1960s, this Greek Revival masterpiece saw Lincoln serve as a lawyer and legislator. In 1858, Lincoln delivered his landmark "House Divided" speech in the Capitol's Representatives Hall.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

This is the old, original State Capitol Building in Illinois, after they moved the State Capitol from Vandalia (the original capitol of Illinois) to Springfield. Built in the heart of downtown Springfield, this used to be a vibrant business district. But, the powers that be in Springfield decided a few years ago to destroy the business aspects of downtown Springfield and move all businesses out to the mall 5 miles to the southwest, and today most of the downtown businesses, restaurants, theaters, Illinois Central Railroad, etc., are long gone. But the Old State Capitol Building is still standing. They completely disassembled it about 40 years ago, completely renovated the foundation, putting in an undergound parking garage, and then restored and rebuilt the building, stone by stone. Thus, it's the same building, but it's very modern in its core with parking. Why would they need underground parking? Because the city powers that be destroyed virtually all street parking, and with it virtually all the businesses in the area. Today, where businesses used to flourish, street winos and bums roam the area and hit you up for coins. This is NOT your Grandfather's Springfield! Still, it's worth taking a peek. The interior of the building is still set up just like it would have been back in Abraham Lincoln's time, and indeed Lincoln's Law Office is immediately southeast of the Capitol building, preserved as it was when Lincoln was an attorney here. There are knowledgeable tour guides and historians on the premises, and they can show you around. The main legislative room is preserved just as if the 19th century Legislators had just gotten up from their desks and left their papers and quill pens behind, which makes for an authentic historic touch. Lots of history in this building, worth a visit. Bring your camera. But don't plan on doing much shopping in the area. Oh, the Lincoln Library is located just north and east of the old capital building, and that's also worth a visit. .

1  Thank GaryH0522
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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669 - 673 of 713 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2012

This is one of my favorite historic sites. Restored beautifully. Try to go when the interpreters are there.

2  Thank Kathy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

Lincoln gave the "House Divided" speech in these chambers. Very attractive architecture and some times there are interpreters there.

1  Thank jack96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Our docent was excellent. She guided us through both floors and brought the place alive with her knowledge and enthusiasm.

2  Thank NoPlaceLikeUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Don't leave Springfield without stopping by...it's an integral part of Illinois' history.

1  Thank Joan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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