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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Springfield IL - A City Of Two Capitols

Lincoln's Old State Capitol

It feels a little like the movie Groundhog Day here today. I wake up early with Lulu as she prepares for her conference. Then she goes out the door - I open the curtains and stare out at all the ice and snow. The last few days have been dark and overcast - today it is sunny but 9 degrees.

Wednesday was busy - I toured the Old State Capitol - then the Korean War Museum - then the New State Capitol - and finally the Illinois State Museum. Each place alone deserves a story - but this web page is about my days - so here I go. 

The old capitol was replaced around 1870. It was out grown so they turned it back into the county courthouse. Around 1970 - they completely restored it to the way it was when Lincoln served here. The above room was the state library.

The old capitol had everything in one building - house - senate - governors office - supreme court - state library - treasurer - etc. 

Lincoln like to study in the state library. Lincoln never went to college or law school - he took a test to be a lawyer. 

This was the house chamber - when Lincoln got killed he lie in state in 13 cities - this was one of them. 100,000 people visited his body here.

Lincoln practiced law in this old Supreme Court.

In front of the old state capitol is this small Korean War Museum. 

The new state capitol is one of the prettiest I have ever seen.  It was built in 1870 - within site of Lincoln's Home - but Abe never saw it. 

Although the Capitol was busy - I was the only one that wanted to take a guided tour so I had a grand time with Jack Pearce - a 21 year old vet. He gave me an excellent tour of this fine house. He took me to the governor's office - the house - the senate - and the dome. 

I asked him to review all the governor's that went to jail for abuse of power. Yes - 4 of the last 7 governor's went to jail - 2 are still there - including the infamous Rod Blogovich. I am a Democrat by voter registration - Illinois has a democratic governor - house - and senate. Either there are a lot of crooks here - or the people know how to search out the crooks and put them in jail. I think of our Governor in Florida and how he bilked Medicare of $150 million - took the fifth over 50 times - beat the rap - and then used $70 million of the money to run for governor - and win twice!

They make a fuss over Stephen Douglas here. Lincoln defeated him for president in 1860. Douglas and Lincoln lived just a few miles apart. Lincoln was 6-5 - Douglas was 5-4. They debated when they were running for Senate - Douglas won. In those days the state legislature voted for US Senators. They did not debate during the presidential race - Lincoln won.

This is the Senate in the new capitol.

This is the House in the new capitol.

The dome is actually taller than the US Capitol and all other state capitol domes.

The Illinois State Museum is more for school tours. I am sure these Indian dioramas brought a lot of school kid giggles.

This is my favorite view of the old state capitol - from my table at a Cold Stone ice cream place. It was cold outside but I could not resist. I was the only one there.

This picture of Abe and me tells what kind of day it was. I was just about to get my VIP tour inside. I used my iPhone and my remote clicker to the this picture.

The capitol was busy under this beautiful dome. You could see from the ground floor all the way to the top.

Today - Thursday - is Lulu's last day of work. We will tour the main Lincoln Library and Museum on Friday together  - then will come home Saturday. I hope we get bumped.

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