SSGA Announces Television Premiere of “History Reborn” Documentary to the Public


The Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance (SSGA) is proud to announce “History Reborn” will air on television for the public twice during President’s Day weekend on numerous PBS stations in our region.

“History Reborn" is a new and locally-produced documentary about the demolition and reconstruction of the Old State Capitol in the 1960s. This week, Springfield business leaders attended a red-carpet premiere of the documentary hosted by the SSGA at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

“History Reborn shares lessons of leadership and teamwork in Illinois history and sheds a light on a piece of history that may have gone overlooked if not for local filmmakers and the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “Guests who visit the capital city from all over the world will enjoy watching this incredible film when they visit the historic Old State Capitol.” 

The documentary is presented by the SSGA in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and produced by a local production company, The Storytellers Studio. It features interviews with two of the original architects who were in charge of dismantling and rebuilding the Old State Capitol, which is now considered one of Springfield’s most important Lincoln-Era monuments.

“We are so excited to see “History Reborn” come together and be able to share this piece of Springfield’s history with our communities,” said SSGA’s CEO Ryan McCrady. “This film reminds us of Springfield's historical significance, not just to our state but to the world. It’s important from an economic development perspective because it demonstrates to potential businesses thinking about developing in Springfield, that we value our history. Stories like this should also inspire our community and make everyone proud to call this place home.”

The “History Reborn” documentary chronicles a lesser-known piece of Springfield’s history and the perseverance of the visionary Springfield architects who made the project happen; Augie Wisnosky, Paul O’Shea, and the late Don Ferry, and Wally Henderson.

“Everyone who experiences this film will have a new appreciation for the Old State Capitol and the leaders who restored it,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Superintendent Justin Blandford. “It’s also a great example of how people can work together on really important accomplishments that still impact our lives today.” 

“We are thrilled that our team members partnered with SSGA to capture the story of the Old State Capitol reconstruction on film,” said IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie. “History Reborn is a world-class tribute to the innovation and perseverance that defines the character of Illinoisans still today.” 

The documentary will be broadcast in partnership with PBS affiliate, WSIU on stations that reach the homes of three million people in five surrounding states.

“I want to thank Ryan and everyone at the Growth Alliance for sharing "History Reborn" with WSIU, so it can be seen throughout the region,” said WSIU Executive Director Fred Martino, Ph.D. “Preserving history through media is an essential part of WSIU's mission. And it's one of the ways we foster lifelong learning.”

The air dates are Thursday, February 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 19 at 11 a.m on the following stations:
WSEC 14.1 Springfield, IL | Decatur, IL
WSIU 8.1 Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Cape Girardeau, MO
WUSI 16.1 Olney, IL | Terre Haute, IN
WQEC 27.1 Quincy, IL | Hannibal, MO
WMEC 22.1 Macomb, IL | Keokuk, IA

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