Friday, March 01, 2013
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It's all in the 'Details'

Dana-Thomas House offers new 'Attention to Detail' tours to give visitors more insight into Wright's genius

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[March 01, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- Few architects could pack as much amazing detail into one building as Frank Lloyd Wright. Now the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site will help visitors appreciate all those little touches with a new series of tours.

The "Attention to Detail" tour program kicks off Saturday with Mike Jackson, an architect and deputy state historic preservation officer, explaining the painstaking work done to restore the Dana-Thomas House to its full glory.

Other "Attention to Detail" tours will take place two Saturdays a month from April through July and will be led by veteran tour guide Frank Marchant, who has volunteered at the Dana-Thomas House for more than 23 years. He'll share timeless stories and insights about restoration of the house, such as the elaborate process used to finish the home's distinct architectural frieze.

"Attention to Detail" tours will last approximately two hours, with a suggested donation of $20 per person.

In addition, Marchant will offer a different afternoon tour, "Of Glass and Wood," that will focus exclusively on the house's art glass and handmade oak furniture. "Of Glass and Wood" tours will last about one hour, with a suggested donation of $15 per person.

Reservations are strongly encouraged, since tours will be limited to 15 guests. Call 217-782-6776 to reserve your space.

Tour schedule:

March 2

  • 1:15 p.m. -- "Attention to Detail: Restoration of the Dana-Thomas House"

April 6 and 20

  • 10:15 a.m. -- "Attention to Detail"

  • 1:15 p.m. -- "Of Glass and Wood"

May 4 and 18

  • 10:15 a.m. -- "Attention to Detail"

  • 1:15 p.m. -- "Of Glass and Wood"

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June 15 and 29

  • 10:15 a.m. -- "Attention to Detail"

  • 1:15 p.m. -- "Of Glass and Wood"

July 6 and 20

  • 10:15 a.m. -- "Attention to Detail"

  • 1:15 p.m. -- "Of Glass and Wood"

Mike Jackson, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, has more than 30 years of experience in the field of historic preservation. He was project manager for the Dana-Thomas House restoration that took place from 1985 to 1990. Jackson, a visiting professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a founding member of the Association for Preservation Technology Committee on Sustainable Heritage.

Frank Marchant, a docent at the Dana-Thomas House for over 23 years, has visited more than 250 sites designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A Wright fan since the age of 8, Marchant has presented special tours at two other Wright-designed sites.

The Dana-Thomas House was built between 1902 and 1904. It is perhaps the best-preserved of Wright's Prairie-style homes, with more than 400 pieces of specially made art glass and original furnishings. The house, located at Fourth and Lawrence streets in Springfield, is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and is open Wednesday through Sunday for public tours.

For more information, visit

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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