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Major Area Attractions

Illinois State Capitol.

Constructed in the 1860s, the Capitol is the current home of the Illinois Legislature and houses many state government offices. It rises 461 feet above the city, took 21 years to complete, and cost $4.5 million. The building, which has several huge paintings, also contains the Hall of Governors and a bronze figure representing Illinois welcoming the world to the Colombian Exposition of 1893. The Howlett Building is part of the Capitol Complex and was erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the state’s admission to the Union

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House

This is one of the best preserved and most complete of Frank Lloyd Wright’s early “Prairie” houses. It was constructed in 1902-1904 for Springfield socialite and female activist Susan Lawrence Dana. The house contains more than 100 pieces of original Wright-designed furniture, as well as 250 examples of art glass doors and windows and approximately 200 original art-glass light fixtures. The dining room, which can seat 40, and the studio/gallery/ballroom are two of the most-photographed spaces in the history of American architecture.

Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon

This is one of the largest and finest of the world’s carillons. The site of numerous public concerts, the International Carillon Festival is held here each June. The Carillon is open for tours that provide a spectacular view of Springfield from the highest point of elevation in the city. Within the open tower lay 66 bronze bells cast by a 300-year-old bell foundry in the Netherlands. The bells have a range of 5½ chromatic octaves, all played manually on a keyboard located in the carilloneur’s cabin. The bells weigh a total of 73,953 tons, with individual bells ranging from 22 pounds to 7½ tons.

Washington Park Botanical Garden

is one of the regions major horticultural attractions with 20 acres of more than 1800 species of plants in 10 specific garden areas and the Conservatory. The garden, which is open year round, features annual beds, a rockery, cactus garden, civic garden grow, monocot garden, perennial border, peony collection, rose garden, shade garden & Roman Cultural Garden. The Conservatory is a 50-ft diameter dome with exotic and economically important plants that are arranged by regions to which they are native. Discover tropical Africa, the jungles of Asia and the rainforests of South America. Seasonal displays include Easter lilies, poinsettias, orchid exhibits and Japanese bonsai displays. The garden provides a floral setting for the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon. Free

Vachel Lindsay Home

The 1879 birthplace of the native Springfield poet/artist, this house remained Lindsay’s only home until his death in 1931. The house was built in the late 1840s; an early owner was C.M. Smith, whose wife, Ann, was the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. Both Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were frequent visitors. The house was purchased in 1878 by Lindsay’s parents, Dr. Vachel Lindsay and Catharine Frazee Lindsay, and remained in the Lindsay family for 80 years. Acquired by the State of Illinois in 1991, the home reopened in 2002 after an extensive, state-funded restoration.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House

Illinois State Capitol
Illinois State Capitol

Washington Park Botanical Garden
Washington Park Botanical Garden



Document Information
Source: Springfield CVB; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20090211
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