Columbus Ohio Tourism
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Old Statehouse at Broad and High
Original statehouse located on the corner of State Street and South High Street.

Statehouse Timeline

The Ohio Statehouse took over 20 years to complete. This might seem like a particularly long time to erect a building the size of the Statehouse, but when you consider that much of the initial labor was performed by Ohio State Penitionary inmates, there were 7 different architects that each wanted to put their own stylized mark on the building, and it was being overseen by the Ohio General Assembly, well, it's a miracle the building was ever completed. The fact that the building was completed and became a showcase of Ohio's ingenuity and craftsmanship, is an accomplishment that all Ohioans can be proud to call the home of our state's government.

Whenever you are in Columbus and can spare an hour or so, stop by the Ohio Statehouse and visit. Guided tours are offered on the hour, and you can do self-guided tours anytime during regular hours.

1795 Lucas Sullivant begins surveying land for the town of Franklinton, which later becomes part of Columbus.
1803 Congress recognizes Ohio as the 17th state to join the Union.
1812 The city of Columbus is founded and named as the state capital.
1816 The seat of state government moves from Chillicothe to its new home in Columbus.
1838 Design contest held to determine the look of the new Statehouse
1839 Construction of the present Statehouse begins. It takes 22 years to complete due to political wrangling, cholera epidemics and lack of funding.
1852 The original 1816 Statehouse burns and work on the new Statehouse proceeds more earnestly.
1859 Abraham Lincoln speaks for the first time on the east side of the Capitol building for over 2 hours in front of no more than 50 spectators.
1861 The present Statehouse is completed. It is considered to be one of America's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture.
1865 Abraham Lincoln's body lays-in-state in the Rotunda on his way back to Springfield, Illinois.
1880 Early telephone communication begins with service in the House Chamber.
1880 George Washington Williams serves in the Ohio House of Representatives and is the state's first African-American legislator.
1888 The state places electric lights in the Supreme Court room in the Statehouse, and the entire building is wired for electricity by 1892.
1896 William McKinley of Canton is the first presidential candidate to campaign by telephone.
1901 The Statehouse Annex, also known as the Judiciary Annex, or the Senate Building, is completed and originally houses the Attorney General's office, Ohio's Supreme Court and four state department offices.
1922 The first female state senators, Nettie Longhead and Maude C. Waitt, and the first female state representatives, Nettie MacKenzie Clapp, Lulu T. Gleason, May VanWyn and Adelaide Sterling Ott, are elected.
1960 The Ohio House and Senate legislative sessions are televised for the first time.
1989 Restoration of the Ohio Statehouse and Senate Building begins and the complete restoration is completed in 1996.
2003 Ohio celebrates its Bicentennial.
2012 Columbus will celebrate its Bicentennial

Statehouse lawn

Statehouse Tours

The Ohio Statehouse is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 3rd Street Information Desk. 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.

Touring the Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse and Abraham Lincoln