The Grand Staircase is the jewel of the Senate Building. The Staircase grandeur draws the awe of many visitors each year.
Female figures featured in the ceiling frescoes of the Grand Staircase
The ceiling above the Grand Staircase at the Atrium entrance to the Senate Building offers one of the most stunning views on Capitol Square. Prior to the 1996 renovation of the building, the restored stained glass skylight depicting the Great Seal of Ohio had been covered by simple plywood and forgotten for many years. Classical frescoes had been long obscured by layers of smoke and grime.
Pete Fact : The Great Seal of Ohio is described by law in the Ohio Revised Code. The Seal symbolizes Ohio's heritage and its honored place in United States history. The sun, with 13 rays representing the original 13 colonies, rises over an image of Mount Logan, as viewed from the Adena Mansion near Chillicothe-the home of Thomas Worthington. Thomas Worthington was one of the primary advocates for statehood and helped ensure Ohio's admittance as the first state from the Northwest Territory. The full sheaf of wheat in the foreground represents agriculture and bounty. A cluster of seventeen arrows symbolizes Ohio's admittance as the nation's seventeenth state. Uniting the background and foreground is a representation of the Scioto River and cultivated fields.
The staircase is made predominantly from white Italian Carrara marble and was also painstakingly restored during the renovation. Even the light fixtures are original, thanks to the foresight of the building's 1899 planners. Builders, unsure that electricity would 'catch on,' installed fixtures that would work with either gas or electricity.