Illinois State Capitol Sculptures & Monuments
This tip shows some of the statues and monuments located on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol Complex. I agree with Jesse White, Secretary of State, when he writes, "The statues and monuments....add beauty and dignity to the area....and provide a glimpse of those individuals/groups who have helped shape Illinois' rich history".
Note: much of my statistics came from a brochure by Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State.
For the Illinois centennial, Sculptor, Andrew O'Connor, was selected to make a new statue of Abraham Lincoln. It is a 10-foot, 6-inch bronze statue with a large granite base and backdrop. It is engraved with Lincoln's "Farewell to Springfield" speech.[ Photo #1]
ILLINOIS WORKERS MEMORIAL
Sculptor, Peter Fagan, was commissioned by union members to make this 3,000 pound memorial that "is dedicated to the memory of the thousands of Illinois workers killed and injured on the job." It's a bronze sculpture of 3 workers on top of a polished granite base that was dedicate in 1992.[photo #2]
Sculptor, John H. Mahoney, created this 8-foot bronze statue of Illinois' first Lieutenant Governor, and it was the 1st statue to be placed on the Capitol lawn in 1886. Menard, a French-Canadian, is shown trading with a Native American along the Mississippi River.
The fox skin and calumet pipe symbolize the peaceful commerce Menard fostered between the Native American and white communities. The statue and ten foot granite base cost about $10,000. [photo #3] ILLINOIS FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL
Sculptor, Neil Brodin created a monument in memory of "the firefighters of Illinois who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those who heroically serve with courage, pride and honor." It shows four life-size bronze firefighters and a rescued child on a 14-foot-tall stone cairn surrounded by 2,400 red paver bricks and enclosed by a 2-foot wall. Public contributions and the sale of Firefighters Memorial license plates paid for this memorial. Each May on Memorial Day, a ceremony is held here to honor Illinois Fallen Firefighters[photo#4]
EVERETT McKINLEY DIRKSEN
Sculptor, Carl Tolpo created this 11-foot bronze statue of Republican Congressman and U.S. Senator, Everett McKinley Dirksen who served Illinois for 35 years. An elephant, donkey, and oil can flank Dirksen which symbolizes his persuasive skills to help both Repulicans and Democrats to cooperate and enact vital legislation. Seven years after his death , the monument was dedicated. It's interesting to note that the monument contains "a cluster of marigolds, which Dirksen hoped would be named the national flower." [photo #5]
These monuments and memorials represent only 5 out of 15 Outdoor Capitol Complex structures.