An Ursuline convent, built in 1764, serves as hotel de ville and law court, and a church of the 14th century is used as a market.
The town is the seat of other important Catholic establishments, including an Ursuline convent; a Presentation convent; St Patrick's Catholic College (1829) for ecclesiastical students, where was held in 1850 the synod of Thurles; and an establishment of Christian Brothers, who devote themselves to the instruction of boys on the Lancasterian method.
In the city are the state library (1842), the state law library (1839), the Illinois historical library (1889), of which the State Historical Society (1903) is a department, and the Illinois Supreme Court library; several educational institutions, including Concordia-Seminar (Evangelical Lutheran), the Ursuline Academy (Roman Catholic), and the Academy of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic); the Springfield hospital (1897; Lutheran), and the St John's hospital (1875; under the Sisters of St Francis), two orphanages, two homes for aged women, and a sanatorium; the permanent grounds of the State Fair (157 acres), and a state rifle range and militia camp-ground (160 acres).
Among the principal buildings are the U.S. Government Building, the City Hall and the County Court House; and the city's institutions include the Laredo Seminary (1882) for boys and girls, the Mercy Hospital, the National Railroad of Mexico Hospital and an Ursuline Convent.
A convent school of the Ursuline nuns is a prominent feature on a hill to the south.
The Ursuline College of St Angela (1904) and the Merrill School (1906), both for girls, are in New Rochelle.