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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Illinois--where the governors make the license plates.

This was the best bumper sticker I saw in Springfield....and it looks like Blago may get a chance to learn the license plate business, because his trial is set for June 2010. Here is a short tour of the Illinois capitol building

When I was taking pictures of the capitol building, a man came along, and asked me if I could get it to smile for the picture. During the conversation he told me that there were a lot of stories about the capitol building, and one in particular claimed that the person who won the contract to build the thing immediately paid off the committee ,or whoever awarded him his the contract. The friendly person summed it up, "You know Illinois politics!" Of course, that bit of history wasn't in the official pamphlet I picked up when I went inside. I think all capitals are beautiful, and this one is no exception. Pictures just don't do it justice, but maybe you can get the idea.

The capitol was finally completed in 1888 for $4.3 million! Imagine that, and there was even $6.35 left over, and was handed back to the state treasury. It costs more than this to build a good school cafeteria today.
The dome was black with soot from all the gas lights they used, and in 1986 they cleaned it. That must have been fun since it is 92 feet in diameter and it looms above the 4th storie.
The inside is ornate with carved wood, wrought iron, granite, and beautiful pink marble (even on the banister for the main stairway).

The color of the marble is sort of a peach-pink, well, OK a tint of red orange. This is the bannister.Ornate lamps, and beautiful chandeliers are everywhere. At one time they used to use gas lamps, which smoked everything up.
This is the door to the ladies room, very ornate, and of course, old, solid wood. No particle board here!Brass door knobs with the state seal, which at first glance looked to me like the eagle and snake on the Mexican flag. All doors have these beautiful knobs.

Ornate painting on the walls.
Gold capital on the columns.
And last of all, the governor's office, where lots of wheeling and dealing takes place.I have really enjoyed my visit to Illinois, and must confess that if someone had asked me to name a state I would like to visit, Illinois would not have been at the top of the list. Illinois just doesn't leap out at me like Texas, Montana, and Wyoming, which I think are so steeped in history and romance. I have learned that Illinois is packed with history, beauty, fantastic agriculture, and wild, under-the-table politics. I haven't been to Chicago, but it seems like a separate world from what I have seen. If you get a chance, come to Illinois, and be sure to go to the presidential library--good exhibits.


  1. You're right, of course. Illinois conjures up images of corn fields for me, not history. I guess I've never taken a look at the state, and your blog opened the doors for me.

    Capitols buildings are gorgeous, I think, and one could spend hours and hours looking at the details. I wonder how many people who work there, ever really take the time to examine thier surroundings...

  2. I am sure it gets routine, and some people don't pay any attention to buildings anyway. They just plunge ahead on a mission. I could just spend hours looking.