Explore Our House

By Heather Brown | 25 Jul, 2017

Summer is a great time to explore your own backyard. We have a tendency not to be tourists in our own city, but if you have never toured the Ohio Statehouse, you are really missing out. The Statehouse is a designated National Historic Landmark and is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. And its grounds are among the most beautiful capitol grounds in the country. Beyond the beauty, of course, is the history (this is the spot where Lincoln’s body lay in repose after his assassination). There’s a little of something for everyone, and a variety of tours are available to fit into any schedule.

Now through September 29, you can take in a seasonal tour of the grounds. Tour Capitol Square: See the Ohio Statehouse Grounds as Never Before is a 45-minute guided tour that highlights the exterior architecture of the Statehouse, as well as on-site monuments, the Civil War-era cannons and the foliage and green spaces. The tours are free, but you need to contact Katie Montgomery at 614.728.3726 to schedule your tour.

To take a gander at the inside of the magnificent building, join one of the daily guided tours. These free tours are offered Monday through Friday, departing every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on weekends at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The tours, which last 45 – 60 minutes, depart from the Map Room near the Third Street entrance, and visitors are encouraged to arrive at least five minutes before departure time. Please note that if there are 10 or more in your party, you must call two weeks ahead to schedule your group (Katie Montgomery at 614.728.3726).

If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer or your schedule does not mesh with the guided tour times, you can now access the Ohio Statehouse Monument Audio Cell Phone Tour. Simply explore the 10-acre Statehouse ground and when you find one of the seven featured monuments, you can dial a phone number to hear descriptions of the monument, as well as the historical importance of the person it honors. Just look for signage at the base of the monument to find the phone number to dial. Tour details are available here.

A similar opportunity awaits inside the Statehouse and Capitol Square complex. You can access a free series of video and audio podcasts and be your own tour guide, learning about the architectural features, the rooms, the artwork and the history of the building. Simply use your phone or other digital device, and either download the podcasts in advance of your visit or access them using the free WiFi service. For more information and for links to download the video and audio podcasts, click here.