This artist rendering shows what a renovated northern entrance to the Illinois State Capitol will look like. The new entrance, which is part of $ 224 million in planned renovations, will provide more access and security, according to the Capitol Architect’s Office.
The price of the renovation of the north wing is $ 224 million
By BETH HUNDSDORFER
Capitol News Illinois
Renovations are underway in the North Wing of the Illinois Capitol.
Plans include building an underground parking garage, eliminating the circular driveway on the north side of the Capitol, and adding a new entrance that improves access and safety.
“We are very fortunate to have a State House of which we can be proud. There are other states that have state houses that look like a skyscraper that you would see in Chicago, so we want to deal with a historic building and unfortunately the older buildings are the ones that require the most work, ”said Andrea Aggertt, director of the Capitol Architect’s Office.
The planned renovations carry a total price tag of $ 224 million already appropriated by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. The Illinois Senate will meet in the Howlett Auditorium after the spring 2022 session and will continue to meet there until January 2025, when renovations are expected to be completed.
Renovation plans include:
- Updated new stairs to allow emergency exits directly to the exterior.
- New fire alarms, sprinklers and lighting.
- Accessible bathrooms, entrances, door hardware.
- Modernization of mechanical, electrical, heating and ventilation systems.
The aim of the renovation is to respond to safety and security issues, but also to restore historic architectural details to the Capitol.
The restoration will also give some of the history back to the building which was completed in 1876 at a cost of $ 4.5 million, removing the recessed ceilings, non-historic joinery and mezzanines in the north wing.
Construction of the underground car park will begin in the coming weeks.
The goal of the renovation is to improve safety by removing vehicles from near the building, creating a screen area for visitors outside the Capitol structure, and installing a lock and lock capability. electronic and duress buttons.
Plans also include an underground conference and meeting room.
Currently, there is a handicapped accessible entrance to the Capitol.
In 2011, the West Wing of the Capitol underwent a $ 50 million renovation over two years. The renovation came under scrutiny when the price of three copper-clad mahogany doors was revealed — $ 700,000. The original doors were replaced in the 1970s with glass and aluminum doors.
Capitol News Illinois is a non-profit, non-partisan news service covering state government and distributed to over 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.