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Architectural Gems

Historic homes and buildings often have their own stories to tell, stories that are central to the history of Illinois. This project preserves those stories, told by those who know their secrets well. Whether it be a prominent state building or a private home of a not so private person, the memories of these buildings and of those who lived there are part of the fabric of Illinois’ history.

Jennie Battles

Tour of the Vachel Lindsay home given my site manager

Susan Haake

Susan Haake, the curator for Abraham and Mary Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois, leads the viewer on a room by room tour of the Lincoln home and yard. The Lincolns moved into the home in 1844 when their son Robert was nine months old. Their other three sons were born there, and Eddie died in the house. The Lincolns left Springfield after Abraham was elected president, renting it to the Tilton family. They intended to return to their Springfield home after Lincoln's presidency, but following his assassination, Mary decided to continue renting the house to the Tilton family rather than return to the home where she had so many memories.

August Wisnosky

August (Augie) Wisnosky was hired in the early 1960s to work on the demolition and reconstruction of Illinois' Old State Capitol by Ferry and Henderson, local architects commissioned to oversee the renovation of the Old State Capitol. Augie's specific assignment was to work as the field architect for the project, “the man in the hole”. The project involved the complete deconstruction of the building, temporarily storing the stones at the state fairgrounds, then constructing a parking lot and office space underneath the building before reconstructing the capitol above the parking lot, building to exacting standards.

Marcia Young

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is a beautifully restored, Victorian home, built between 1870-1872 for Judge David Davis (1815-1886) and his wife Sarah (1814-1879). The site consists of the historic Victorian style mansion and grounds of Judge David Davis, a close friend and confidant of Abraham Lincoln. Marcia Young, the site manager for the mansion from 1990 to 2014, gives interviewer Pete Harbison a tour of the historic home and grounds.

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