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356 votes

Ohio State House

78 S High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215 USA

Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Wed 8a
  • Independent
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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Historic Treasure

Our Take

Ohio’s Statehouse doesn’t have a giant, opulent dome so it feels a lot different from other state capitol buildings. This is because it was built before the present US Capitol Building, which inspired many others. In fact, Ohio has one of the oldest statehouse buildings in the country. Its most striking feature is honestly probably the wide, lush, inviting lawn, which sticks out from the rest of the concrete jungle of downtown Columbus.

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“An historic Columbus treasure”

The Ohio Statehouse is situated on a 10-acre parcel of land that was donated by John Kerr, Lyne Starling, John Johnston and Alexander McLaughlin, four prominent landholders in the Franklinton area on the west side of the Scioto River. The initial design was arrived at through a design competition. Construction actively began on July 4, 1839 with the ceremonial laying of the cornerstone. The structure would be completed much later, in 1861. Prison labor from the Ohio Penitentiary was used to construct the foundation and ground floors of the building. Objections from skilled tradesman, who felt they were losing out on good-paying jobs, brought about changes in hiring practices for the remainder of the construction.  The Statehouse is built in the Greek Revival style, a type of design based on the buildings of Ancient Greece and very popular in the U.S. during the early and mid-1800s. Because the city-states of Ancient Greece were the birthplace of democracy, the style had great meaning in the young American nation. Greek Revival was simple and straightforward and looked nothing like the Gothic Revival buildings popular in Europe during the same period. The broad horizontal mass of the Statehouse and the even and regular rows of columns resemble such buildings as the Parthenon in Athens. It is a masonry building, consisting largely of Columbus limestone. The limestone was taken from a quarry on the west banks of the Scioto River. The stone of the Statehouse foundation is more than 18 feet deep.  The Statehouse has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (1978). This honor recognizes the long history of the building and the continued role it will have in the life and lawmaking of the state of Ohio. During the restoration project in the early 1990s, original graffiti sketched by some of the Ohio Penitentiary prisoners was uncovered. One sketch is a profile of a man's face with the word "Badger" scrawled above it. By searching records at the Ohio Historical Society, the restoration team was able to locate information about Ephraim Badger, who was imprisoned from 1846-1849 for burglary. His record states that he was pardoned in 1849 "for service to the state."

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Reviewed by
Chini Tiongco

  • 211 Reviews
  • 108 Helpful
August 25, 2014
Rated 3.0

Very interesting place and a lot of historical attractions. It was a nice place to visit for a couple hours in the afternoon. We visited here on Saturday, so there was a tour available. The tour is only done on Saturdays, but they also offer a self guide brochure for weekdays and Sundays. The tour guide was nice and friendly. There's also a gift shop which sells locally made products and Capitol souvenirs. The price is reasonable.

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Ohio State House

78 S High St
Columbus, Ohio
43215 USA
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Closed Now
  • Sun, Sat: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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