Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, IL

Designed in 1902 for Susan Lawrence Dana, and independent and wealthy socialite, the Dana-Thomas House was the 72nd building designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It holds the largest collection of site-specific original art glass and furniture. The mind-boggling 16 varying levels have 35 rooms and have a total of 12,000 square feet of living space. 

The home is a stunning example of Wright's "Prairie-style" architecture and the home contains many customized pieces that he also designed for Dana, including lamps, wood pieces and stained glass.

The home's next owner was Charles Thomas, a medical publisher, who preserved much of the home throughout the 31 years it was owned by him - and later his wife following his death. In 1981, the state of Illinois bought the home in 1981. The home was restored between 1987 and 1990.

Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour out at 3:45) and also Monday and Tuesday during the travel season from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tour lasts about an hour. On my most recent visit to Springfield this was definitely one of the highlights and something I highly recommend when visiting the area. While there isn't an age restriction for tours, it might not hold interest of younger ones and the priceless pieces, that obviously can't be touched, could be temping for little hands (and thus stressful for parents trying to enjoy the tour.) I'd hold off on a tour with kids until age 8 or so. And for those with limited mobility, be prepared for many steps and several different levels to navigate. Suggested donations are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $15 for families. For more information, visit

Here's a look at the introduction video that is shown to guests before the tour of the majestic property. 

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