The Judiciary Annex
The Judiciary Annex, built of Columbus limestone, was constructed between the years 1899 and 1901. Designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons of Cincinnati, the Judiciary Annex housed the Ohio Supreme Court on Capitol Square from 1901 until 1974.
When it was constructed, the Judiciary Annex contained two courtrooms and two deliberation rooms. This was because an 1886 amendment to the state constitution divided the Ohio Supreme Court into two sections of three justices. However, by the time the Annex was completed, a new state constitution restored the Supreme Court to six justices. The surplus space was eventually divided up into a number of small offices.
In the late-1980s, state leaders devised a plan for the restoration of Capitol Square. The Annex was one of the first components of this restoration. In March 1993, the Annex re-opened, this time as the Senate Building.
The Grand Stair Hall
Created of brilliant Carrara marble, this is one of the most impressive spaces in this building. It is enclosed by a ceiling of detailed murals, which surround a stained-glass Great Seal of Ohio skylight. Before the renovations, it was not known that there was a skylight in this space because it had been covered from the inside with a drop ceiling. Restorers speculate that the skylight had been covered because it was in such a state of disrepair that it leaked and might possibly fall out. It has since been repaired and secured.
The murals on the ceiling of the Grand Stair Hall represent art, justice, manufacturing and agriculture. Each painting shows a woman holding various related objects. The four ceiling murals were painted by Pedretti & Sons of Cincinnati.
Also used for decoration in the building is gold and aluminum leafing. Although the gold leafing appears to be quite prevalent, there are only slightly more than three ounces of gold in the building.
Today, the Senate Building is home to 31 of Ohio's 33 senators. The Senate President and Senate Minority Leader both have offices in the Statehouse.