SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Old State Capitol is undergoing major renovations.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Capitol Development Board announced Friday $15.1 million in funding to do several key pieces of maintenance. The funds are a part of the Rebuild Illinois plan, the state’s infrastructure investment program.
“The Old State Capitol is one of the most revered historic sites in Illinois,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “I’m proud that our administration is investing in the preservation of the site to ensure future generations can connect to this place and to the important lessons in history that are shared here.”
Some of the repairs scheduled to take place include replacing the wood flooring on the main and upper floors, upgrading elevators, restoring the perimeter fence, and replacing plumbing and fire alarms. The renovations also include abating materials with asbestos.
“This investment is critical to our ability to address deferred maintenance as well as safety upgrades to ensure world-class preservation and visitor experience,” IDNR site supervisor Justin Blandford said.
The first phase of renovations includes renovating the building’s drum, a structure that supports the dome. The Old State Capitol will be closed while the repairs take place.
The space is famous for being the location of where President Abraham Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech and where Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign.