The Ohio Statehouse, located in Columbus, Ohio, is the house of government for the state of Ohio. The Greek Revival building houses the Ohio General Assembly and the ceremonial offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Auditor.
When the state government relocated to the new city of Columbus in 1816, it occupied a modest two-story building on the corner of High and State Streets. This early capitol had chambers for the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, but the rapid growth and expansion of government functions resulted in overcrowding. Efforts to relieve the cramped quarters with additional small buildings were ineffective, and it soon became apparent that the government would require a larger facility.
In 1838, Ohio's government announced a competition to select the design for a new Statehouse. This strategy was not unusual at the time, as important public buildings such as the U.S. Capitol had resulted from similar contests. From about fifty entries, three winners were selected: first prize was awarded to Henry Walter of Cincinnati, the second to Martin Thompson of New York, and the third to painter Thomas Cole, also of New York. However, the organizing commission responsible for choosing the winners was unable to agree on a final design for construction.