Most Beautiful Buildings in Springfield, Illinois

Illinois State Capitol Building, Springfield, IL
Illinois State Capitol Building, Springfield, IL | © Patrick Emerson / Flickr

Europe isn’t the only place to see visually striking architecture. The buildings in the American Midwest can rival those across the Atlantic. Springfield, located in central Illinois, is home to historical buildings designed according to a range of architectural styles. From a Roman Catholic Church to a Frank Lloyd Wright original, here are buildings that are worth a visit.

Illinois State Capitol


aerial shot, Illinois State Capitol Building
© Jim Bowen / Flickr
The Illinois State Capitol is a Italian Renaissance Revival/Second Empire building first used by the Illinois State Legislature in 1877. Towering over Springfield with its 405-foot dome, it is taller than the United States Capitol by 74 feet. Its outstanding architectural features include a stained glass inner dome and plaster friezes depicting important events in U.S. and Illinois history. Guided tours are available weekdays.

Dana-Thomas House

Building, Museum

© dherholz / Flickr

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902 for Socialite Susan Lawrence Davis, this home is an example of early Prairie School architecture. The 12,000-square-foot building, with its 35 rooms and two-story living room, includes 450 art glass windows, many etched with a motif of the sumac plant commonly found in Illinois’ prairies. Other outstanding features include the barrel-vaulted ceilings in the gallery and dining room and an indoor terracotta fountain near the entrance. Wright also designed more than 100 pieces of furniture in the home.

Edwards Place Historic Home

Building, Museum

This Italianate mansion depicts the typical lifestyle of Springfield’s wealthy and influential during the Victorian era. Owned by attorney and state politician Benjamin Edwards and his wife Helen, it was the center of the city’s social life during the late 1800s. Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and other distinguished politicians, judges and lawyers attended dinner parties, picnics and political rallies at this mansion. Throughout its guided tour, docents in period costumes tell intriguing stories that help visitors experience antebellum Springfield. Children will enjoy visiting the playroom and touching the blocks, games, books and other 19th-century toys.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


This distinctive Roman Catholic Church brings classic Italian architecture to Springfield. Its interior, modeled after Pope Francis’ favorite church in Rome—the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore—features palatial coffered ceilings and ionic columns. A black-and-gold marble altar, ambo and baptismal font contrast with cream-colored walls. The tabernacle, which sits on the high altar of the church’s back wall, is made of a rare pink and black marble called Rose Breche. Above the tabernacle, framed in black and gold marble, is an intricate mosaic of the Immaculate Conception based on a 17th-century painting by Spaniard Bartolomé Murillo. Sixteen stained glass windows along the north and south walls illustrate Christianity’s growth and the church’s role in the development of the New World.

Springfield Union Station

Building, Museum, Park

Springfields historic Union Station
© Ron Reiring / Flickr

The hipped roof, arched windows and three-story pyramidal tower of this historic train station are typical characteristics of the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. Once used as a passenger terminal for four railroads, Union Station now houses temporary exhibits as part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum which is located across the street. The surrounding Union Square Park includes a statue of Lincoln and a memorial for the victims of a 1908 race riot. After a day at the museum, grab one of the park’s covered tables and eat a picnic dinner or enjoy a concert or theater performance during summer evenings.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church


This Roman Catholic church is an prime example of the Neo-Gothic architecture popular in 19th-century England. The facade includes typical Gothic characteristics such as pointed arches, a steeply sloped roof and tall towers embellished with lattice work. The Neo-Gothic theme continues inside the building with vaulted ceilings, scagliola (stucco) columns and side altars made of Botticino marble mined in Italy. Take a few moments to walk around the church’s nave and enjoy a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta and a bas relief of Jesus and his Apostles reminiscent of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. A grotto at the front right-hand side of the church tells the story of a 14-year-old French peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous who experienced apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858.

Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Building, Museum

Lincoln Library and Museum
© Dave Herholz / Flickr

No trip to Springfield is complete without a stop at one of the most visited presidential libraries in the United States – the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Dedicated to the 16th president of the United States, visitors interact with Lincoln’s legacy through life-sized dioramas, film clips, high-tech exhibits, hands-on activities, and holographic theater performances. This 200,000-square-foot complex is 50% larger than any other presidential library. Architecturally, the building’s contemporary facade combines several distinctive styles including classical columns, Prairie-style overhanging eaves and modern ribbon windows.

Christ Episcopal Church

Building, Church

Christ_Episcopal_Church_in_Springfield,_IL larger
© Mrphelps / Wikimedia Commons

Some consider this building one of the most beautiful churches ever built in Springfield. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 because of its unique Richardson Romanesque architectural style. Built in 1888, Christ Episcopal Church is best known around Springfield for its unique rough mason block exterior and its arched entryway. Its rusticated bell tower is a typical feature of Early English Gothic architecture. Inside the church visitors will discover stepped buttresses, exposed timber ceilings, polished oak and birch woodwork and other Gothic Revival elements. The church is also known for its beautiful stained glass windows.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Holiday Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article