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August Wisnosky - Architectural Gems

August (Augie) Wisnosky was hired in the early 1960s to work on the demolition and reconstruction of Illinois' Old State Capitol by Ferry and Henderson, local architects commissioned to oversee the renovation of the Old State Capitol. Augie's specific assignment was to work as the field architect for the project, “the man in the hole”. The project involved the complete deconstruction of the building, temporarily storing the stones at the state fairgrounds, then constructing a parking lot and office space underneath the building before reconstructing the capitol above the parking lot, building to exacting standards.

Interview Links

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Augie's entry into the Old State Capitol project as field architect

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Oversite of contractors and workers during demolition and preservation of building stones

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Overseeing the reconstruction of the Old State Capitol, floor by floor

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Completion of reconstruction, landscaping innovations and 1968 dedication


Photos

Caption:
Illinois’ Old State Capitol housed the Sangamon County Courthouse prior to its demolition in 1966.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Wally Henderson, architect with Ferry & Henderson, leads a tour with Governor Otto Kerner (on the steps) at the beginning of the demolition of the Old State Capitol in January 1966.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
January 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption:
National Wrecking Company workers, in the distance, watch several men observe the installation of bleachers for sidewalk superintendents. From left are Augie Wisnosky, Ernest Hildebrand, William E. Smith, William Lodge, and Denny Kelley.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
February 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption:
Pictured from the west side of the building, the cupola and roof are dismantled.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
February 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Pictured from the west side of the building, the cupola and roof are dismantled.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
February 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The demolition and disassembling of the Old State Capitol began with August (Augie) Wisnosky serving as the Field architect, “the man in the hole” as he referred to himself, leading the project.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
To preserve the stonework of the Old State Capitol, each stone had to be removed using a giant web-belted crane.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
A crane is used to carefully remove each stone that could weigh from 500 pounds to several tons.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Each stone is marked with a brush and paint as it is removed from its position in the wall and column. Of the 3,300 stones which were moved, Wisnosky said that not one was lost or misplaced.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The last load of original stone is loaded onto a truck to be delivered to the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The stones were temporarily stored at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The reassembling contractor used keyed drawings to indicate the exact location where each stone was to be placed.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
After the demolition was completed and excavation began, a road was built to support dirt removal trucks. About 2,833,000 cubic feet of dirt was eventually removed.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
June 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The site had to be excavated and dewatered to a depth of approximately thirty feet, to the dimensions of 330 by 330 feet in size.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
July 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Augie, as the Field project architect, was tasked to coordinate nine prime contractors and hundreds of people, He worked in conjunction with Wallace Henderson & Donald Ferry, The Old Capitol architects.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1966-1968

Ownership:
May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption:
The framework and forms for the lowest level of the Illinois State Historical Library is visible in December 1966.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
December 1966

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The Old State Capitol building had to be shored up to support the moat construction.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
January 1967

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The lowest level of the parking garage can be seen from the southeast corner of the excavation.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1967

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The second floor of the building was constructed with steel and concrete.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1967

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The steel dome and construction of the Old State Capitol looking south from 5th and Washington Streets.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
October 1967

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
With the Old State Capitol, sporting Christmas tree in the cupula, in the background, Augie’s wife Ann and daughter Betsy are photographed in December 1967.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
December 1967

Ownership:
Narrator’s photo

Caption:
The massive stones from the original structure were returned from the Fairgrounds to be set in place on the north side of the Capitol construction area.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
March 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Concrete pan forms were used for two-way concrete slabs on the second-floor parking area.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
March 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The concrete slab was poured for the second-floor parking deck in April 1968.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
April 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The sheathed dome is covered with scaffolding. A metal skin was to be applied at a later date. Also shown are the hyperbolic parabaloids (inverted pyramids) prior to waterproofing.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
June 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Hyperbolic parabaloids were created on top of the parking area, waterproofed, filled with a base of sand  & clay and topped with a layer of dirt about 18 inches thick to accommodate landscaping.

Where:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

When:
June 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Workers constructed new walkways at 5th and Washington Street.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
June 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
United States Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (center, in black suit) paid a visit to the Old State Capitol in August 1968.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
August 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The south entry to the Old State Capitol, landscaped, with a metal fence surrounding the building.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
November 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
From inside the cupola, the American flag is being taken to the flagpole atop the cupola for the dedication ceremony.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
December 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
A dedication ceremony was held inside the Old State Capitol in December 1968. Pictured from middle to the right, are Governor-elect Richard Olgivie, William Aldefer, Paul Powell, and Wayne Temple (in uniform).

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
December 1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Hyperbolic paraboloids are easily visible in the underground visitor parking area of the Old State Capitol. The parking ramp area also housed the historical library, in the center.

Where:
Unknown

When:
1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
As the Field Architect, Augie oversaw the reconstruction of the interior of the Old State Capitol. A skilled workman completed the ornate decoration on a support column of the Capitol.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
Pictured is the first floor of the Old State capitol. Each room of the Capitol was replicated and restored with painstaking attention to detail and perseverance by the architects, the State Historian and staff researchers.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
The historically important House of Representatives chamber occupies the entire west side of the second floor of the Capitol. It was in this room that Abraham Lincoln gave his house divided speech.

Where:
Unknown

When:
1968

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption
By the spring of 1969 the Old State Capitol project was completed, an outstanding example of a thoroughly planned and executed restoration project.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
Spring of 1969

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption:
From the left to right, Mayor Tim Davlin, Donald Ferry, August Wisnosky, and Earl W. Henderson Jr. are honored at a “40-year tribute” of the restoration of the Old State Capitol by the Citizen’s Club, Springfield, IL in March 2008.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
March 2008

Ownership:
(May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption:
The Springfield State Journal Register referred to the project as “the big dig” in a January 2017 article on Augie Wisnosky and the project. In this shot, the framework of the Capitol begins to emerge from the dig.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
Circa 1967

Ownership:
May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption:
The Springfield State Journal Register referred to the project as “the big dig” in a January 2017 article on Augie Wisnosky and the project. In this shot, the framework of the Capitol begins to emerge from the dig.

Where:
Springfield, Illinois

When:
Circa 1967

Ownership:
May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.



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