The Cobb Capitol

1. Removal of Hills Cornerstone, 1898

Before a new capitol could be built, the old Hill’s Capitol cornerstone was first removed in 1898.

2. Digging Cobb Capitol footers

Digging the Cobb Capitol footers and basement was still largely done by hand or using horses and metal scoops. Dirt and rock was hauled away by teams of horse and wagon.

3. Cobb cornerstone dedication

The Cobb Capitol cornerstone dedication was held on August 10, 1898 and three men who were alive in 1819 for the Hills Capitol cornerstone dedication, Abraham Erb. John Clyde and Charles Schwartz, were present for the ceremony.

4. Excavation for Cobb foundation

Another photo showing the excavation for the Cobb Capitol foundation. Much of the debris from the old Hills Capitol was dumped on the western side of Hargest’s Island, now known as City Island.

5. Interior, Grace Methodist Episcopal Church

Interior of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, where the General Assembly would meet for the remainder of 1897 and 1898.

6. Henry Ives Cobb

Architect Henry Ives Cobb. A native of Boston, Cobb went on to design the Fisheries Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

7. Proposed Cobb design, 1897

Henry Cobb’s winning design for the Capitol was not unlike Joseph Huston’s for the 1901 design competition.

8. Cobb floorplan

Cobb floorplan. Thought the footprint for the building was much the same as the present building, Cobb arranged both the House and Senate Chambers to face the rotunda, as opposed to the present configuration where the rear of the chambers is facing the rotunda.

9. Complete Cobb Capitol, 1899

Completed Cobb Capitol, 1899. Though Cobb fully expected to “complete” his building via subsequent yearly appropriations, the initial $550,000 was not enough to erect more than the brick frame and roof of the building. The 1898 Capitol Building Commission, including Governor Hastings, were not pleased with Cobb’s work.

10. Cobb building dedication, 1899

View of Cobb Capitol during Hartranft statue dedication, 1899. Patriotic bunting, swags, and flags adorn the Cobb Building and the newly completed John F. Hartranft monument.

11. View of grandstand, Cobb dedication

Close-up view of grandstand, Cobb dedication, 1899.

12. Interior of Cobb Senate Chamber, circa 1901

Interior of Cobb Senate Chamber, circa 1901.

13. Cobb Building, Undated

Cobb Building, undated.

14. Cobb desk, circa 1899

Cobb desk, circa 1899.

15. Decorative canvas from Cobb Capitol

Decorative canvas, found inside the Cobb Capitol interstitial space during restoration of the current building.

16. Molding from Cobb building

Molding from Cobb building, possibly part of a decorative capital.

17. Wooden plasterers tool

Wooden plasterers tool, used to smooth and shape plaster.

18. Brushes and pan

Brushes and pan, possibly from Cobb Capitol painters.

19. Decorative plaster element

Decorative foliate plaster element

20. Bricks from Cobb Capitol building

Bricks from Cobb Capitol building.