Illinois Old State Capitol reopens for tours

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – History buffs, rejoice! The Illinois Old State Capitol is open to visitors again.

The building closed for a $ 1.6 million restoration project last spring. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reopened its doors to the public on October 7.

While the teams have spent time plastering and painting, there are also two new areas for tourists to see. The Education Gallery has 10 historical artifacts that were original from the building. People of all ages can also enjoy the all-new video room with a short report explaining the importance of the Old State Capitol.

Justin Blandford, superintendent of Springfield State Historic Sites, said the project also shows how relevant the building remains today.

“We want to preserve the site and keep it in good condition so that it is not only there to allow us to enjoy today and be part of our economy, but that it is there to guide future generations. Blandford said.

Blandford hopes the rest of the exterior restoration of the Capitol Dome will be completed by the end of the year. Funding for the project came from the Rebuild Illinois capital spending plan.

Updated rooms with video features bring the historic site into the 21st century.

“We are really excited to introduce new storytelling techniques. That’s how we see it, ”said Blandford. “The videos, commercials and artifact highlights we show take us a little bit into the future without leaving the past. You always feel immersed in a historical setting. And I think the changes are subtle enough that most people benefit.

You should follow public health advice indoors by wearing a mask and staying six feet away from other visitors. Signs are posted throughout the building to remind people of the advice.

Blandford says staff are excited to welcome more people over the holiday season. He also noted that they were aiming for other projects in the future.

“We have another project coming up next year that will add even more longevity to the sight. And there will be more functionality and restoration, ”said Blandford. “We feel really good about our situation, especially at this time of year when we can once again welcome guests with their favorite activities.

The Old State Capitol is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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