On the 10th of September, I made a special trip down to Springfield, Illinois to take pictures of the renovation of our new state capitol (built 1876). Ignoring a few barricades, I was able to get around to the west wing and snap a number of photos of the work in progress, including the sea maiden newel post lamps on the grand staircase, and the interior of those famous, million dollar copper doors!
The sea lady statues are significant because the architect, Alfred Piquenard, also designed the new Iowa state capitol, and it is similar to the Illinois capitol, though smaller. Both buildings were meant to have the statues, but the Illinoisans thought they were too risque (which they are, IMO) and so opted not to have them. The Iowans had no problem, so they retained their statues to this very day. In fact, the statues installed at Iowa are the ones that were supposed to be installed in Illinois!
I uploaded the pictures here: http://macgui.com/gallery/showcat.php?id=3
Here is the first one: http://macgui.com/gallery/showphoto.php?pic_id=2583