Politics & government: The capitol complex
The present Illinois statehouse complex is the collective seat of the people's government and, after the Lincoln sites, the reason most Illinoisans ever visit Springfield. Over the years I wrote several columns about how this town-within-the-town was governed. Most of these pieces were disparaging, a few despairing.
It was personal with me. In the middle 1960s I lived for at time a block from the statehouse, and over the ensuing decades watched the State of Illinois vandalize its own seat of government by neglecting maintenance and littering the environs with barren asphalt parking lots. Today the Illinois capitol complex is ill-planned, inconvenient to move about in, and lacking amenities.
Illinoisans who visit the equivalent places in Wisconsin or Indiana or Iowa return asking, Why can't we have nice things too? There were reasons, among them lack of imagination, habitual cheap-skating, and bureaucratic inertia. Reasons, then, but none of them good.
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Checking out the new Illinois State Library
“Prejudices” Illinois Times January 11, 1990
Restoration makes the statehouse too grand for politics
“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times September 12, 2013
The case for restoring the old state armory
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times April 8, 2010
A bigger, not better, capitol complex
“Prejudices” Illinois Times September 15, 1983
Cheeseparing in the Capitol Complex
Will a new Stratton Building be a better one?
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times June 10, 2010
Is the state spending too much to restore the statehouse?
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times September 19, 2013
Refined, Delicate and Urban
Marking the Centennial Building’s centennial
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times September 1, 2016
Temple of the Law
The state is doing justice to the Supreme Court Building
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times June 20, 2013
Converting the capitol into an office building
“Prejudices” Illinois Times September 7, 1979
Is the state's new capitol complex plan good? Who can tell?
“Prejudices” Illinois Times August 5, 1977
Cars outvote everybody at the statehouse
“Prejudices” Illinois Times July 5, 1979
God Lets Off Bob Ingersoll
The legend of the statehouse cornerstone
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times January 16, 2014
A New Dawn at the Statehouse?
What are the statues on the capitol lawn for?
"Dyspepsiana" Illinois Times January 23, 2014
The General Assembly tag the museum building
“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times December 18, 2014
Temples in Ruins
The old Franklin Life complex did not get the owner it deserves
“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times September 15, 2011