Expanded schedules at historic sites
New Salem, Old State Capitol, Dana-Thomas
House to operate seven days a week
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[July 09, 2016]
– Three of the state’s most important historic sites will begin
operating seven days a week in an effort to better serve taxpayers,
offer more educational opportunities and encourage tourism.
The new hours will apply to:
Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, where Abraham
Lincoln lived and worked as a young man the Old State Capitol
State Historic Site, where Lincoln served as a legislator,
delivered his “House Divided” speech and ran his presidential
transition the Dana-Thomas House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd
Wright and boasts a huge collection of Wright furniture, lights and
The new hours take effect at the Old State Capitol on July 11. The
site will celebrate with a concert by folk singer Chris Vallillo at
The Dana-Thomas also switches to the new schedule on July 11, and
New Salem follows on July 18.
The sites, all run by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency,
will operate on the expanded schedule throughout tourist season.
“Historic sites contribute to the economy, to education and to the
fun of family vacations. We want them to be open as much as
possible,” said IHPA Director Heidi Brown-McCreery. “I am incredibly
grateful to our employees and volunteers for working so hard to make
these expanded hours possible.”
In 2014, the days of operation were reduced at many sites after cuts
to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency budget. New Salem and
the Old State Capitol went from seven days to five. The Dana-Thomas
House went from five days a week to four.
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The sites can now operate seven days a week by adjusting schedules to use staff
more effectively, filling of vacant jobs, bringing in temporary employees and
continuing to accept the generous help of volunteers.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency protects the state’s historic
resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. Its sites
include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers, and
homes connected to famous Illinoisans.
Last year, state historic sites attracted about 1.9 million visitors. They
contributed about $169 million to the Illinois economy and government coffers.