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Out and About Wright: Prairie Architecture in the Illinois Heartland


Saturday, May 5, 2012
Out and About Wright: Prairie Architecture in the
Illinois Heartland

Springfield, Illinois


President Abraham Lincoln is undoubtedly the most famous resident of Springfield, Illinois, but Frank Lloyd Wright also called Springfield home for a brief time when he was working for Susan Lawrence Dana. Although the
Dana-Thomas House (1902-1904), its 400+ pieces of art glass and many original furnishings are Frank Lloyd Wright’s best known work in Springfield, he also designed the Lawrence Memorial Library (1905) at the nearby Lawrence School, named for Susan’s father who had been president of the Springfield school board. After his work in Springfield, Wright returned to central Illinois several years later to work on the Edward Irving House (1909) with Marion Mahony, his longest serving employee and wife of Walter Burley Griffin. The Irving House is in Millikin Place, a grouping of several prairie houses in the city of Decatur. Mahony also designed the adjacent Robert Mueller House (1909-1911) and Adolph Mueller House (1910).

Out and About Wright participants will begin their day with an extended tour of the Dana-Thomas House and a trip to the Lawrence Educational Center to see the Lawrence Memorial Library before traveling to Millikin Place to see the Irving house, both Mueller houses and the historic Millikin Homestead. Back in Springfield, an evening reception at the Dana-Thomas House will give participants a new perspective on this extraordinary prairie mansion as the sun begins to set. Mike Jackson, FAIA, project manager for the restoration of the Dana Thomas House, will also give a presentation highlighting the findings of an Historic Structure Report and the work that went into restoring the Dana-Thomas House to the era of 1910.


Out and About Wright participants will receive a special group rate of $90 when staying at the State House Inn. To make a hotel reservation call 217.528.5100 and mention the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy room block.

Although it's not part of the Conservancy tour, if you’re driving to Springfield from Chicago, the
B. Harley Bradley House (1900) in Kankakee, Illinois will be available for touring during normal hours.

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