GCAC Presents: Take a Tour of the Ohio Statehouse
With Independence Day around the corner, there is no better time for central Ohioans to visit to the “People’s House” and be reminded about our great democracy.
Restored to its 1861 appearance, the Ohio Statehouse has functioned as the center of state government in Ohio for 150 years. Downtown Columbus is dominated by Ohio’s Capitol, a Greek revival building begun in 1839 and completed over the course of the next 22 years entirely by prison labor.
Early Ohioans wanted their capitol building to serve as a symbol of the state’s democratic form of government. They looked for inspiration in the architecture of ancient Greek cities and based the Ohio Statehouse on the design of classic Greek temples.
The Ohio Statehouse is one of the most historically and symbolically significant buildings in the nation. Ohio’s capitol building is both the seat of state government and a political symbol of the state’s democratic heritage, spirit and accomplishments as a self-governing people.
The working building has plenty to do and see! Among the don’t-miss sights are the 64-foot-wide Statehouse rotunda, which features a stained glass skylight with the state seal; the chambers of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, with reproductions of their original ornate chandeliers, desks and carpets; the Map Room, with a marble map of Ohio and its 88 counties inlaid in the floor, and the Senate building’s Grand Staircase, with its original mosaic tile floor, skylight and ceiling murals.
The Ohio Statehouse Museum features interactive, multimedia exhibits depicting the democratic process, the workings of Ohio’s government and the Statehouse’s place in history. Outside, the front steps of the Statehouse often feature free concerts and the lawn is dotted with cannons and monuments that honor some of our state’s great leaders and the period during which Ohio’s democracy was founded and formed.
Come take a tour of the “People’s House” and explore the seat of Ohio government. While on a tour, you will be inspired by the architecture, fine art, interpretive exhibits and the working offices and chambers that have been the site of Ohio government since 1861.
Free guided tours are offered Monday through Friday on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 3 p.m. Tours depart from the Map Room on the ground floor of the Statehouse. Tours are approximately 45 minutes in length. Groups of 10 or more are requested to call 614/728-2695 in advance to ensure a guide is available for your group. The Statehouse is handicapped accessible and senior friendly.
Detailed information about the Ohio Statehouse is available at www.ohiostatehouse.org. See you at the People’s House!
GCAC presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.