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Lighting up the winter nights
Dana-Thomas House dresses up for the holidays, schedules luminaries for Dec. 20

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[December 18, 2015]  SPRINGFIELD – The Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site will put on its holiday finery Dec. 20 with hundreds of candles shining on the home’s exterior, creative floral designs filling the interior and music drifting through the air.

The luminary display takes place 5-9 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20. Visitors can enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright’s beautiful architecture illuminated by the glow of candles. Inside, they’ll see amazing decorations as the Eddy Flute Choir performs.

The event is free, but donations to support the site’s programming are always welcome.

The home was designed by Wright in 1902 for Springfield philanthropist Susan Lawrence Dana. It 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.

Volunteers from the Springfield Civic Garden Club have made dozens of prairie-inspired floral arrangements to complement Wright’s vision.

Decorations also include a Christmas tree decorated with original glass tiles designed in 1897 by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Luxfer Prism Glass Company of Chicago. The tiles were saved from destruction and assembled into ornaments by volunteers working alongside instructors at the Springfield Art Association.

Susan Lawrence Dana was among the first people 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.

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The Dana-Thomas House is open Wednesday to Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

It will also be open 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 23 as part of the Downtown Springfield Holiday Walk and will be open the day after Christmas to accommodate the large number of guests visiting Springfield residents.

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

[Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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