Given Springfield, Illinois' status as a capital city for the state, many politicians stayed at St. Nicholas when the assembly was in session. Thus, many political deals occurred at the hotel, as well as a few scandals. For instance, in 1970, $750,000 --- more than $4 million in 2017 terms -- was discovered inside a shoe box found in Secretary of State Paul Powell's room shortly after he had deceased. A subsequent investigation revealed he had taken many bribes, which led to arrests and several convictions of many state contractors.
Before World War I (1910) and during the 1920s when the country enjoyed a robust economy, St. Nicholas enjoyed many renovations intended to help draw tourists and conventions to Springfield, notably tied to the many Abraham Lincoln memorials found in the city. However, by the 1960s, after the Great Depression, World War II and a changing economy and culture, downtown Springfield no longer remained significant, outside of politicians who continued to use the facilities.
Today it's an apartment complex that recently enjoyed extensive remodeling and renovations. Rooms range from inexpensive studio apartments to luxury penthouses.