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Historic Illinois Supreme Court Building reopens after 13-month restoration

The main courtroom of the Illinois Supreme Court. - Photo by Mark SkubeThe Illinois Supreme Court Building officially re-opened to the public Wednesday after a 13-month restoration. View our photo gallery of the restoration at

The Court building has been closed since June 2013 when major work began on the historic building for the first time in nearly a century.

The building was constructed in 1906 and is eligible for inclusion on the National Historic Register. While the building was closed, the Supreme Court met during its regular terms in Chicago. It returns to begin its September 2014 term on Monday, Sept. 8.

The year-long project included restoration and preservation of the public spaces, courtrooms, library and support spaces. Offices, storage and work areas were updated for improved efficiencies in the digital and electronic age.

Major mechanical, heating, cooling, plumbing, and ventilation systems were replaced with installations to provide consistent humidification levels for the long-term maintenance of the historic ele-ments within the building. Technology enhancements included three new High Definition cameras permanently installed in the Supreme Court Courtroom and connected to a commercial grad production video switcher. The new video recording system will allow the Court's oral arguments and courtroom events to be recorded in a standard HD format and usable via download by the commer-cial media. As well as viewed by the public.

Funding for the project was approved by the Legislature in Public Act 96-0035 in 2009 and totaled $15.9 million.

Restoration work began in June 2013 and was substantially completed 13 months later. The transition of staff and operations was completed this week, and Wednesday marked the first official day the building was re-opened to the public.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman addressed the media and led them on a tour of the restored building.

Posted on August 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Member Comments (1)

Of course it is easy for those of us in Springfield to see it, but I am eager to take visiting family on a tour of the Court very soon. It is a wonderful tribute to the law and the high aspirations of the pursuit of justice.
We are glad to have the Court back home.