It's a small world

Trip Start May 06, 2010
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Trip End Oct 14, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Thursday, June 3, 2010

The first stop today was the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.  There was a tour leaving shortly after I arrived but two classes were going to be going on that tour.  After my experience yesterday I decided to wait for a later tour and started touring the building on my own.

They took some shortcuts in construction to keep the costs down, such as having a plaster sculpture painted to look like bronze instead of having a bronze sculpture, but it's a very nice building.  It has been recently restored and is in very good shape. Typical of most capitol buildings, it's somewhat modeled on the US Capitol, with a large dome in the middle, but the inside of the Illinois dome is a large stained glass dome.  There's also a stained glass window over the House Chamber.  Originally, there was also one over the Senate Chamber but it was removed years ago.

I went down to join the tour after the one with all the kids and wound up being the only person in the group.  As I was getting on the elevator with the tour guide I saw someone I had met at Mammoth Cave National Park a few days ago.  It's a small world.

The tours, lasting 20 minutes, are relatively brief.  Surprisingly, the fact that Barack Obama had been an Illinois Senator was not mentioned on the tour.

My next stop was the Old State Capitol Building.  This is the building where Barack Obama announced his candidacy as well as his running mate.  It's also where Abraham Lincoln served as a state senator, gave his famous "House Divided" speech and where his presidential campaign office was located.

While I was talking with someone in the House Chamber the person from Mammoth Cave turned up again.  Not as unusual as seeing him at the Capitol but still rather strange.

I left Springfield and drove to the Milwaukee Art Museum, a gorgeous Santiago Calatrava building on the shores of Lake Michigan.  They're open late on Thursdays and I had hoped to get to spend some time in the museum today but I got there just a little before closing time.  The building has big wings that can be opened and closed to control the amount of light entering the building.  I had hoped to get a picture of the building with the wings extended against a sunset sky but they closed up as soon as the museum closed, which was well before sunset.  I'm going to go see the collection and more of the interior of the building tomorrow morning before heading for Madison.
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