Capitol Avenue

City of Springfield
Springfield, IL
12+ City Blocks
Completion date
July 2012

Integrated public art throughout Capital Avenue's historic streetscape speaks to the local culture and community of Springfield and the greater history of Illinois and its counties. This revitalized avenue creates a simulated red carpet environment for the very grand Illinois State Capitol.  

Architecture has always played an important role in defining culture. Curiosity reconnects us with our past and the stories waiting to be told. One only has to walk through the halls of the Illinois State Capitol to see the walls come to life - hear the artwork breathe and the sculpture talk. It is a pure example of making an emotional connection with people and documenting history. The Capitol Avenue Streetscape celebrates this integrated design philosophy by respecting the story of the Capitol, reflecting the spirit of the community, and creating a catalyst for economic development. The Capitol deserves a red carpet - stimulating opportunity for community life, social interaction, and interpretation of the story of Illinois, Springfield, and its residents. 

Markers tell the story of Illinois by offering insight into five cultural themes: government, industry, agriculture, transportation and state history/facts.
Over 24 feet tall, the individual wheat shafts are made from reclaimed railroad rails, paying homage to Springfield’s railroad history.
Planters along Capitol Avenue read “Springfield” on one side and “Capitol Avenue” on the other and inspired by planters at the Dana Thomas House.
Fences along Capitol Avenue are based on the Monarch Butterfly, the state insect of Illinois, and inspired by the style of Frank Lloyd Wright and designs within the Dana Thomas House.
53 historical markers interpret the story of Illinois through image and text. Each marker conveys an important truth of the state through iconic imagery, striking quotations and the evocative poetry of famous Illinoisans.
Merit Award
ASLA Iowa Chapter