Old State Capitol

Let Freedom Ring March

Apr 9, 2015

Bells rang out as students made their way from President Abraham Lincoln's home to the Old State Capitol. 

April marks the month that both Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated.

I talked with one of the parent educators from Jefferson Middle School; Monica Walls Butler says it's important for young people to know their history. 

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

  On the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new stamp paying homage to the Sixteenth President.

A new, black-and-white, 21 cent stamp is available at post offices nationwide. It features a close-up photograph of the Lincoln Memorial statue, in Washington D.C. But the unveiling of the stamp wasn't there.

The ceremony was at the Old State Capitol building, in Springfield — where Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech.

Amy Martin is director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The U.S. Postal Service has a present for Abraham Lincoln fans this week.   On his birthday Wednesday, a new stamp will be unveiled at the Old State Capitol depicting Lincoln.  

It's part of events that will mark the 205th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.  

The House chamber, seen in the middle of renovation last November, is expected to be unveiled in early February.
Bethany Carson / WUIS/Illinois Issues

One hundred and eighteen years after construction was completed on Illinois’ sixth state Capitol, the House and Senate chambers have been restored to resemble the plush style envisioned by architects John Cochrane of Chicago and Alfred Piquenard of France.

Since last spring, hundreds of specialized workers have toiled around the clock to restore history. At the same time, they upgraded the heating and air conditioning system, fire safety features, Internet capabili- ties and wheelchair accessibility.

Bethany Jaeger
WUIS/Illinois Issues

I take the scenic route to work every morning. I walk up three flights of the Illinois Capitol's grand staircase that lead to a towering piece of art above the Press Room door.

It's a 20-foot-by-40-foot painting of a 1778 peace treaty with George Rogers Clark and Native Americans at Fort Kaskaskia, and it almost looks small compared to the impressive depth and ornate detail of the stained glass dome soaring above the Capitol rotunda.