The Governor's Office you see today is virtually identical to the Governor's office that Abraham Lincoln saw in 1861. According to historical records, Lincoln sat at this desk across from then-Ohio Governor William Dennison, Jr., and discussed the impending Civil War. During this visit to the Ohio Statehouse, Lincoln was informed that he had won election to the Presidency of the United States.
Governor George V. Voinovich was the first governor to use this office after the Statehouse restoration was completed in 1996.
Original Governor's Office
The Governor's Office exhibits the highest level of restoration in the Statehouse. According to the standards set forth by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, this space qualifies as a Zone 1 restoration. Every effort was made by the restoration team to conceal signs of modern technology. Light switches, phones, and computers are all concealed within furniture pieces.
The bust on the north wall is of Salmon P. Chase, the first governor to serve in the Statehouse. A bust of Abraham Lincoln sits on the desk. Behind the door is “The Council of War,” a sculpture that depicts Lincoln meeting with his Ohio born advisors Edwin Stanton and Ulysses S. Grant.
The corners of the carpet in the Governor's Office display the 1857 Great Seal of Ohio. Though the original carpet was woven of wool, today's carpets are synthetic to withstand substantial foot traffic.
The Governor's desk is the original desk used in this building. It was first used in 1857 by Governor Salmon P. Chase and is made of rosewood and walnut. It was discovered in the warehouse of the Ohio History Connection. It has since been restored, even saving the original leather tabletop.
The chairs, sofas, settee and tables on the west wall are all antiques that have been reupholstered and refinished. The cabinets on the east and south walls are reproduction pieces, based on photographs of the original furniture.
The secretary on the north wall is original to the building as well. Although most likely used by a Supreme Court justice, three of these original secretaries have been found. They are located in the Governor's office, the Senate President's office and the office of the Speaker of the House.
The Ohio Statehouse
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, Ohio 43215