Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Sangamon County Building Springfield Illinois


Sangamon County Court House Springfield, Illinois

Every great city should have a great building or two. Buildings go a long way to setting the stage upon which the local citizens play out their affairs. Springfield, Illinois isn't a great city. It's a rather small, and rather mundane town that has potential to become much better than it is.


Sangamon County Jail Springfield, Illinois

I guess if I had to make a list of important buildings in the city the Sangamon County Courthouse and Jail would need to be included. Some might object that such a building would be included on the same list as Abraham Lincoln's Historic Home, but I'm really looking at this from a local perspective. Therefore I do include the Sangamon County Building on the list of important buildings in Springfield.

The building isn't really much to look at. It's not ugly, but perhaps that's the best thing that can be said of it. If a gentleman said that of a woman it would be considered an insult, yet that's not how I intend my comment to be taken. Let me just say this, as far as jail houses, and courthouses are concerned it could have been far worse.


Sangamon County Building Springfield, Illinois

Still every time I look at the Sangamon County Building I wonder just exactly what kind of statement was being made by those who decided upon the style of the building for it reminds me entirely too much of some of the barn like churches on Springfield's west side - godly as they may be - still as ugly as sin.

Yet, I've already stated that I don't feel that the Sangamon County Building is ugly. The open spire which has been designed to reflect the sky does make a statement. I'm guessing it has something to do with redemption? The people locked up within this building may be prisoners, but it is God's will - could that be what the shiny spire symbolizes?

I'm an old fashioned kind of guy, and I would have found it inspiring to have some huge granite columns at the sides, and entrances of the building. A classical approach certainly would convey the power, the permanency, and the dignity which a courthouse, police barracks, and a jail house could use to their advantage. I'm guessing that the cost of a building employing classical design would have been prohibitively expensive. Thus we end up with a building that says nothing at all. The Sangamon County building isn't ugly, and it isn't beautiful. It doesn't speak to the community, but it functions - and I guess in a town like Springfield, Illinois we should be grateful enough for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its unremarkable, unnoticeable, and mundane. Much like county government itself.

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