Calendar  |  Logan County Tourism Bureau

Lighting up the winter nights
Dana-Thomas House adds new features to holiday display, schedules luminarias for Dec. 21

Send a link to a friend  Share

[December 17, 2014]  SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Civic Garden Club and the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site are partnering for the second year in a row to prepare one of Illinois' historic treasures for the holiday season.

Volunteers have made dozens of prairie-inspired floral arrangements for the 12,000 square-foot home, designed in 1902 by Frank Lloyd Wright for Springfield philanthropist Susan Lawrence Dana. The home was finished in 1904, just in time for the holiday season, when Mrs. Dana welcomed the families of laborers into the home for the first of many holiday celebrations there.

New to the program this year is a Christmas tree decorated with 4-inch glass tiles designed in 1897 by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Luxfer Prism Glass Company of Chicago. The company hired the young architect to give a decorative exterior surface to their "Iridian" line of prism glass, whose saw-tooth backs were designed to refract sunlight deep into retail spaces. The glass tiles were saved from destruction and assembled into ornaments by volunteers working alongside instructors at the Springfield Art Association.

In addition, guests can see a new exhibit that showcases historic Christmas lights. Susan Lawrence Dana was among the first in the area to utilize electric light strands, called festoons, on her Christmas tree. With funds donated by the Dana-Thomas House Foundation, volunteers and IHPA staff members located tree lights from the 1920s in order to create an eye-catching exhibit.

The annual luminaria event, where hundreds of candles are arranged outside the historic home, is set for Dec. 21 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Dana-Thomas House is open Thursday to Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. It will also be open 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 17 with music by the Lincoln Land Community College Choir and late hours at the historic site’s gift shop.

[to top of second column]

Also, the site is open the day after Christmas to accommodate the large number of guests visiting Springfield residents.

“This is truly the season of giving at the Dana-Thomas House. Dozens of volunteers from throughout our community have worked very hard to make this historic treasure shine during the holidays,” said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The Dana-Thomas House 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 301 E. Lawrence Street (Fourth and Lawrence) in Springfield, is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. For more information, visit

[Chris Wills, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

< Tourism index

Back to top