The Senate Building and Atrium restoration projects were completed in 1992. The Statehouse became the full focus of the restoration
project in 1993 after the opening of the Senate Building and Atrium. Today it closely resembles its 1860s self. Shades of salmon,
French blue and straw yellow paint help to recreate much of the Statehouse's original aesthetics. In addition, the re-opening of
numerous skylights and windows allows natural light once again to flood the building. Two light courts which extend the depth of
the building provide increased pedestrian access, as well as another source of natural light.
In the Rotunda, visitors now can gaze upon a reproduction of the 1849 stained-glass Seal of Ohio skylight, which crowns this
lofty space. The money for this replica Seal was raised by schoolchildren across the state in a penny-collection campaign spearheaded
by Bob Evans Farms. William Powell's painting Perry's Victory, the first piece of artwork commissioned for the Statehouse, was returned
to its original location in the Rotunda. And a hand-carved marble bust of Abraham Lincoln, the only bust for which Lincoln sat during
his lifetime, is in its original Rotunda location.
Walking into the House and Senate Chambers is like taking a step back in time. Both spaces feature ornate reproduction carpeting and
brilliant bronze light fixtures. Subtly intermixed with the Chambers' many original and reproduction furniture pieces are bits of
modern technology. For instance, each legislator's desk offers a laptop computer connection that allows the legislator the opportunity
to call up bills electronically via the Internet. Desks also are equipped with microphones and, in the House, an electronic voting
system. Television cameras, discreetly hidden in period cabinetry, provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of all legislative sessions.
Finally, one of the most fascinating spaces created through the restoration project is the Crypt on the Ground Floor. Featuring
educational displays, hands-on computer kiosks, a museum shop and a cafe, this area was designed to meet many of the previously
unfulfilled needs of Statehouse visitors. Prior to the restoration, merely getting a tour of the Statehouse was challenging. Today,
visitors are presented with current and historical information about Ohio, the Statehouse and its significant personages in this space.
Statehouse Restoration Slide Show