Pasfield Tours & Links
Springfield Area Historic Sites
The Pasfield House also hopes to become a leader promoting private tours of Springfield Historic Homes. The daily Pasfield House Tour will include weekday luncheons in the dining/reception room or, when weather permits, outdoors meals in the courtyard patio. Tourists view a Public Broadcasting Special on the Pasfield House and will hear about early Springfield and the significant role the Pasfield family had in its development. The visitors will also learn about all the historic homes available for tours within the City and when the best time is to visit. The following is a complete list of all Springfield Historic Homes available for public tours.
Re-showings the popular program Illinois Stories produced by award winning director Mark McDonald is a great place for tour groups to begin exploring historic Springfield.
Viewing the Springfield Historic Home series can be scheduled for late morning, early afternoon or during luncheons or dinners. Visitors are able see any of the professionally created video tours of Springfield’s most popular restored residences or a composite of all eight lasting 45 minutes. If time permits any of the Illinois Stories programs (20 minutes each) featuring one of the homes or other historic sites previously aired can be seen also.
Tourist will be able to leave the Pasfield House after viewing the programs to explore the sites, which are mostly located on the historic bus route. The visitors will also learn about all the historic homes available for tours within the City and when the best time is to visit. The following is a complete list of all Springfield Historic Homes available for public tours.
Owner Tony Leone recognized for the Pasfield House restoration boasts “Springfield historic homes offer the most diverse architectural grouping of former residences found anywhere in Central Illinois,” adding “the WSEC Historic Homes Series will surely appeal to visitors interested in early Illinois history or architecture.” The Pasfield House also hopes to become a leader promoting private tours of Springfield Historic Homes.
Historic Springfield Homes
Abraham Lincoln’s Home, located at 426 S. 7th Street, is the only home ever owned by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. The family resided there from 1844-1861. Three of their four sons were born in the home, and one died there. The original home consisted of one story and a second story was added in 1856. The Greek Revival style home has been restored to reflect its original appearance. Several of the Lincoln’s furniture pieces grace the home, including Lincoln’s original desk. The Lincoln Home is managed by the National Park Service. The four block area surrounding it has been restored to the same time period, as well. A visitor center, located near the home, offers a free movie on Lincoln and a gift shop.
The Dana-Thomas House, designed by renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was commissioned in 1902 by Susan Lawrence Dana, a Springfield socialite. The home was completed in 1904. It is considered to be Wright’s first full expression of the Prairie Style. Dana spared no expense on the home, located at 301 E. Lawrence Avenue, and gave Wright complete control of its design and building. When it was completed, the $60,000 project was the largest Wright had ever built. It consists of 35 rooms on three main levels, encompassing 12,000 square feet of living space. The home is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and contains the largest collection of Wright furniture and art-glass windows in the world. In addition to tours, the home offers a gift shop.
The Vachel Lindsay Home Historic Site at 603 S. 5th Street was the family home of Vachel Lindsay. He was born there on Nov. 10, 1879, and died in the Folk Victorian style home on Dec. 5, 1931. Lindsay was a “Prairie Troubadour” who captured the attention of audiences around the world during the early 1900s. During that time he set out on a series of tramps across America. At the conclusion of one of these trips, his poem “General Willam Booth Enters into Heaven,” a eulogy to the founder of the Salvation Army, was published in Chicago’s Poetry Magazine. This brought him national acclaim, and subsequent works garnered international acclaim. The home has been restored to depict life in 1917.
The Illinois Executive Mansion at 410 E. Jackson Street is one of the oldest Governor Mansions, built with an eclectic style with Georgian and Greek features. Seven U.S. Presidents have been received there and several men who either had been or would become President have been guests, including Abraham Lincoln. The Executive Mansion is a museum, containing many priceless works of art, including a smiling bust of Abraham Lincoln for which he posed for artist Thomas D. Jones. Three levels are open to the public, including four formal parlors, a state dining room, ballroom, and four bedrooms, including the Lincoln Bedroom.
The Elijah Iles House, located at Sixth and Cook Streets, is Springfield’s oldest home. A vernacular style once common to many frontier homes, it has been moved three times and has been at its current location for several years. Abraham Lincoln visited the home often and was reported to have played uchre in the front parlor. It is open to the public for tours after an extensive renovation, which has restored its original beauty. The home was originally built by Charles Matheny in 1828 and was bought by Elijah Iles in 1832. It was the scene of numerous social and political events in the 1800s.
The Brinkerhoff Home, an Italianate style home, located at 1500 N. 5th Street, was built in 1869. It was one of the first homes built in the country to offer heat steam. The 41,000 square foot home was designed by architect Elijah Myers and built for Springfield resident George M. Brinkerhoff. The original construction cost approximately $30,00. The home has a fireplace in every room except the kitchen. The home contains oak, cherry, walnut and mahogany woods. It contains six rooms on the first floor with 12 foot ceilings, and nine rooms on the second floor with 10 foot ceilings. The home is currently owned and operated by Benedictine College.
Edwards Place, a different style of Italianate architecture, located at 700 N. 4th Street, is the oldest home in Springfield that remains standing on its original foundation. The mansion, built in 1833, was purchased 10 years later by Benjamin and Helen Dodge Edwards. For many years it was the center of social and political life. Reportedly, Abraham Lincoln addressed a group from its second story window. The original “Lincoln Courting Couch” remains on display in the home. Edwards House is currently owned by the Springfield Art Association where tours of the home and art gallery are available.
The Pasfield House, located at 525 S. Pasfield Street, is one of Springfield’s most beautiful and historic homes. Built in 1896 by George Pasfield Jr. , a prominent banker, landowner and entrepreneur, the mansion is a Classical Revival style. Pasfield’s vast wealth enabled him to build an exquisite home exemplifying the symmetrical elegance of Georgian design which became popular after the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. The mansion features a grand central staircase and a large veranda reminiscent of antebellum plantations. The home offers bed and breakfast accommodations and fine dinning and reception facilities. It is owned by Tony Leone, businessman and former clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives, who has restored it to its original grandeur.
The Pasfield House Historic Homes Tours begin Monday through Friday at the Pasfield House, located at 525 S. Pasfield, directly behind the Illinois State Capital Visitor’s Center. A luncheon and lecture begins at 11:30 a.m. and includes a tour of the Pasfield House. Tour Groups with advanced reservations will depart at 1:00 p.m. for additional historic homes throughout the city scheduled each day. Private groups can be served a luncheon while at the Pasfield House. Price for an in house sit down luncheon is $15 per person, or guests can be served a Chicago Worlds Fair Hot Dog and drink for dining al fresco at a $5 per person charge. Please contact contact the Pasfield House www.pasfieldhouse.com at 217/525-3663.