Ohio Statehouse

1 Capitol Square
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4275

888-OHIO-123; 614-752-9777   |  www.ohiostatehouse.org visitors@ohiostatehouse.org
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Ohio Statehouse – A Temple of Democracy

Requiring 22 years to complete, the Ohio Statehouse serves as the seat of state government; it is also a museum of state history, and an inspiration for civic participation.

The Ohio Statehouse is composed of three buildings constructed over a span of years: The statehouse, a judiciary annex, and an atrium. Construction of the Greek Revival statehouse began in 1839 when the foundations were laid. Symbolizing the ideals and dreams of the new republic, the austere façade with massive columns replicates the Parthenon. Using limestone quarried on the west side of the Scioto River, the lower floor is composed of thick walls and barrel-vaulted ceilings. On the upper floors the Grand Rotunda soars 120 feet above the floor to a stained glass replica of the state seal. The Statehouse was completed in 1861.

The Judiciary Annex was built between 1899 and 1901 to house the Ohio Supreme Court. Designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons, Cincinnati, the most striking feature of the annex is a Beaux Arts staircase of white Carrera marble and adorned with murals depicting art, agriculture, justice, and manufacturing. Now housing the Ohio Senate, the annex is ornate by comparison to the 1861 edifice, reflecting Ohio’s wealth at the beginning of the 20th century.

For many years, legislators had to cross open ground between the Statehouse and Judiciary Annex, dodging raindrops and gifts from pigeons roosting in the eaves. In 1993, the state added a contemporary atrium to connect the two buildings. (Look for Pete the Pigeon who keeps silent vigil in the Atrium.)

The Statehouse is filled with exhibits, paintings, and statues. An education center on the ground floor features exhibits on statehood, Ohio’s governors and presidents, and the process of participatory government. Elsewhere in the building, one will find displays honoring Ohio’s African American legislators, suffrage, and notable Ohioans. Situated on 10 acres in the center of downtown, the lawn around the building is an outdoor art museum of statues and monuments depicting great leaders and honoring everyday Ohioans.

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Notes for Travelers

Guided tours are available Monday-Friday every hour from 10 a.m-3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. For group tours of ten or more persons, call 614-728-3726.

Additional Resources

Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State, Kevin F. Kern & Gregory S. Wilson, 2013.