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
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.