Families can take a 30-minute, guided tour or explore the the old state house, where Abraham Lincoln made his “House Divided” speech, on your own. The building, where Lincoln worked as a lawyer and legislator, once housed the Illinois Supreme Court, Senate Chamber, House of Representatives and the Law Library, among other things. Lincoln’s original desk can also be found here (you may need to ask to see it as it isn’t in plain sight) and inside a drawer is a handwritten note and newspaper clippings (illegible), presumably placed there by Lincoln.
The Old State Capitol was also the location where an assassinated Lincoln lay-in-state for the final time in 1865 before the 4-mile processional to the cemetery that took four hours due to the large crowds paying respects to the deceased 16th president.
The building is small inside and easy to walk from room to room. A grand staircase is located in the center, but the building is accessible to people with disabilities.
Wednesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free of charge, but there’s a suggested donation of $5 for 18 and up, $2 for under 18 and $10 for families.
Metered parking as well as parking garages can be found surrounding the Old State Capitol.