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Exterior Views

Jan. 14, 1932



1933 or 34
After south wing fire



1950's or 60's

1920's or 30's



A view from the southeast, prior to construction of the Stratton Building, which was begun in 1955.

This photograph, possibly  taken during a visit to Springfield by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879, shows the 37 granite steps leading to the original main entrance to the building, on what is now the second floor. The banner on the front of the building reads “National Union – State Sovereignty.”  Also, notice the three arches located along Second Street.  The south arch reads “Lincoln,” the middle arch reads “Welcome to the Capitol of Illinois” and the third reads “Douglas.”

Photo courtesy Illinois State Historical Library


There are several interesting details visible in the photo on the left.  The east and north porticos have not been constructed at this time and the east steps have yet to be removed.  Also seen in the old photo are the round sixth floor windows and an entrance to the basement (now the first floor) under the east steps.  Other notable differences are  windows which have since been added at the base of the dome, awnings which no longer exist, and the circular windows or vents at the base of the building which have been replaced by rectangular windows.

Left photo courtesy Illinois State Historical Library

Apparently taken from the railroad trestle on 3rd St., this photo reveals an unpaved Capitol  St., several people, various structures where the State Library now stands, and a horse and buggy.

Photo courtesy Illinois State Historical Library

This photo shows a military encampment on the Capitol lawn during the race riots of 1908.


The Capitol is visible in this photo of Springfield taken from the top center circular window of the Lincoln Tomb.  It was taken by L. O. Renne in 1921.  The stairway to the top of the obelisk was eliminated during reconstruction in 1931.

Photo courtesy Illinois State Historical Library

This excellent photograph of the Capitol taken during the early 20th century shows the east and north porticoes completed and the original marble stairs leading to the second floor removed.  Notice in the foreground the Menard statue.  This statue was moved in 1918 to the southeast lawn.  The State Arsenal  is the building on the right.

Photo courtesy Illinois State Historical Library

An aerial view from the 1920s.  Note the Illinois State Arsenal to the north of the Capitol.  The Arsenal was destroyed by a fire set by a 10 year old boy on Feb. 19, 1934 and was replaced by the State Armory.

The Capitol and surrounding area in 1926.