House mourns the loss of Springfield’s own ‘Wally’ Henderson Jr. for his contributions to the city

The Illinois House of Representatives today adopted a resolution sponsored by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) to mourn the loss of Springfield resident Earl Wallace “Wally” Henderson, Jr. Mr. Wally Henderson passed away in April of this year at the age of 85.

Wally Henderson was a longtime Springfield architect, preservationist, and community activist. He was the architect behind the restoration of the Old State Capitol in the 1960s when the historic landmark was brought back to how it appeared during Abraham Lincoln’s era.

“Today we recognized a true giant in the city of Springfield,” Rep. Butler said on the House floor in tribute of Mr. Henderson. “Wally had more impact on the city than any of us could imagine. For what you see today at the Old State Capitol you can thank Wally for that. He was someone who put the gentle in gentleman.”

Wally Henderson was formerly a principal partner at Ferry and Henderson Architects, where his projects included the Springfield Municipal Plaza, the Willard Ice Building, the Public Affairs Building at the University of Illinois in Springfield, and the State Journal-Register Building. In 2013, Wally Henderson was awarded the 2013 State Journal-Register First Citizen Award for “the breadth of his contributions in Springfield”.

Wally Henderson is also credited with working behind the scenes to persuade the United States Mint to change plans for the design of the 2009 commemorative penny so the design would include a depiction of the Old State Capitol behind a gesturing Abraham Lincoln.

Rep. Butler added, “Wally was a passionate supporter of the City of Springfield, having once remarked that ‘Springfield has so much potential. Anything that can be thought of can be done. Anything that can improve Springfield, Illinois, we should be working hard at.’ Wally Henderson Jr. was an inspiration for us to create a better community and I will never forget that.”

House Resolution 1187 was adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 31.