Springfield is the capital of the state of Illinois. The city, located at the center of the state, is best known for being the home of Abraham Lincoln. He lived here from 1837 to 1861 before shifting to Washington, D.C. as the US President. Both Abraham Lincoln and his wife are buried in Springfield. Most of the prominent attractions of Springfield are associated with Lincoln – his home, his tomb, and the Presidential Library being some of those. The city is also home to some historic architecture and beautiful parks. Springfield is an ideal destination for the whole family. Here is our pick of the top attractions that Springfield has to offer to its visitors.
- Dana-Thomas House
The Dan-Thomas House is a prominent attraction for being a major architectural landmark of the city. It is located a couple of blocks south of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The house was built in 1904 by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most architects to experiment with the Prairie School of Architecture. The house reflects a great affinity with the Prairie School of architecture along with organic architecture – a harmony between human habitat and nature. It also has Japanese influences. The look of the house is enhanced by more than 250 art glass windows and doors.
- Lincoln Memorial Garden
The Lincoln Memorial Garden is a 100 acre prairie garden and woodland located on the east bank of Lake Springfield. The garden was designed in 1936 and follows the Prairie School of design. Presently the garden has nearly 8 miles of walking trail in the form of a footpath. The whole area is dotted with a variety of trees like sugar maple, redbud, dogwood, and of course white oak, the state tree of Illinois. During early spring, the Lincoln Memorial Garden hosts the annual maple syrup festival.
- Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site
A simple red brick building on 6th Avenue and Adams Street is one of the most prominent historic landmarks in the city of Springfield. This building, dating back to 1841, is the only surviving structure where Abraham Lincoln practiced as a lawyer. The building, with its Greek Revival façade, was where he practiced from 1843 to 1852. Presently, the ground floor has the reception center, an AV theater, and some exhibits. The second floor has a replica of the federal court. The third floor has a number of rooms, two of which were used by Lincoln and his partners.
- Old State Capitol Historic Site
The Old State Capitol Historic Site is the 5th Capitol building of the State of Illinois. It was built in 1840 in a Greek Revival style of architecture. It served as the Capitol between 1840 and 1876. This is the place from where Abraham Lincoln announced his candidacy for the US Presidency in 1858. This is also the place from where he delivered the historic ‘House Divided’ speech. Nearly 150 years later after Lincoln, Barack Obama chose this same location in 2007 to announce his candidacy. Both went on to become US Presidents. The Old State Capitol was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
- Illinois State Museum
The Illinois State Museum is located just a block away from the Illinois State Capitol. It was founded in 1877. The museum is the headquarters of the state museums on natural history. There are branches in 4 other cities including Chicago. Illinois State Museum focuses on the artistic and cultural heritage of the state of Illinois. Collections of this museum range from local fossils to ethnographic artifacts and glass paperweights! Household displays from different eras and dioramas of Native American life give an insight of the history of this region. The museum moved to its present location in 1963.
- Washington Park Botanical Garden
Washington Park Botanical Garden is located on the western side of the Washington Park on Williams Boulevard. The garden has a tropical plant conservatory as well as a greenhouse. One of the highlights of the place is its 5000-plant rose garden. There is also a scent and texture garden for the visually impaired guests. Other attractions in the complex include the cactus garden, iris garden, carillon, and a duck pond. There are well laid out walking trails if you want to take a stroll in the garden.
- Illinois State Capitol
The Illinois State Capitol is the 6th building to serve as the Capitol of this state. Construction started in 1868, and it took almost 20 years to fully complete. It was built in a French Renaissance style of architecture. The Illinois State Capitol rises to a height of 361 feet, which is taller than the US State Capitol in Washington DC. According to a statue of the city, no building can be taller than the State Capitol. Interestingly, the Wyndham Springfield City Center is taller at 352 feet, but is on lower ground – keeping the Capitol the highest building of Springfield. The zinc cover on the dome and façade of the State Capitol not only give it a shiny look but also protect it from inclement weather.
- Lincoln’s Tomb
Abraham Lincoln is very closely associated with the city of Springfield. Not only did he reside here between 1837 and 1861, the city was also his final resting place. His wife Mary Todd, and 3 of their 4 sons, Thomas, William, and Edward, are also buried alongside him in the Oak Ridge Cemetery. The cemetery is located between the airport and the Presidential Museum. The tomb of Lincoln is marked by a 117-foot high obelisk. 4 flights of balustrade stairs, several statues, and a parapet adorn the memorial. The Art Deco crypt is decorated with stained glass windows. Don’t forget to rub the nose of the bronze head of Lincoln for good luck!
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is one of the most prominent attractions in the city of Springfield. It documents the life of the most famous resident of the city, Abraham Lincoln. It also has an extensive focus on the course of the American Civil War. Although it is not a part of the federal Presidential Libraries system, the state-controlled Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is one of the most visited because of its modern exhibition styles and scholastic coverage. The library was opened in 2004 and the museum a year later. The site is also home to a section of the Illinois State Historical Library.
- Lincoln Home National Historic Site
This is the house where Abraham Lincoln lived between 1844 and 1861. His home and the surrounding district are now protected as a National Historic Site. It consists of his house and the neighboring 4 blocks. Although Lincoln moved to Springfield from New Salem in 1837, he bought this house in 1844, 2 years after his marriage to Mary Todd. This was the only house he ever owned. It was donated to the state by his son in 1887. The house was refurbished into a museum in 1971.
Originally posted 2017-07-19 06:20:44.