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'Out and About Wright' tour day May 5 in Springfield and Decatur

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[April 11, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- President Abraham Lincoln is undoubtedly the most famous resident of Springfield, but Frank Lloyd Wright also called Springfield home for a brief time when he was working for Susan Lawrence Dana. Architectural tours of the Dana-Thomas House (1902-1904) and Lawrence Memorial Library (1905) on May will give participants an opportunity to experience Frank Lloyd Wright's Springfield.

Although the magnificently restored Dana-Thomas House, its 400-plus 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.

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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. There will also be a presentation by Mike Jackson on the restoration of the Dana-Thomas House.

The all-day tour will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by 7:30 p.m. Registration is $175 for members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and $200 for nonmembers.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international preservation organization, is based in Chicago. Founded in 1989, its mission is to facilitate the preservation and maintenance of the remaining structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright through education, advocacy and technical services.

[Text from Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy news release received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]


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