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Historic House Museums in Illinois

We try to keep this list of historic house museums for Illinois current, but it is best to check directly with the museums for their hours and other information. If you know of a historic house museum in Illinois that should be listed here, please use our submission form to let us know about it.

Belleville

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Emma Kunz House Museum

602 Fulton Street
Belleville, IL  62220
Phone: (618) 234-0600

Year Built: 1851
Admission Price: Adults, $2; Children under age 12, $1
Hours: By appointment; call for details

Built in 1851 for plasterer Jacob Krill and his wife Nancy, the Emma Kunz House stands as a prime example of a “German Street House.” Brick cottages such as these were favored by the German immigrant laborers who lived and worked in Belleville over 150 years ago.

Victorian House Museum

Victorian House Museum

701 E. Washington St.
Belleville, IL  62220
Phone: (618) 234-0600

Year Built: 1866
Admission Price: Adults $2, Children $1
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm

Built in 1866, the Victorian House Museum recreates an upper middle class house in late nineteenth century. Situated in historic downtown Belleville, Illinois, the Victorian House Museum features period bedrooms, a dining room, a parlor and a library. Many of the furnishings were made by local craftsmen in St. Clair County, Illinois. The Victorian House Museum also serves as the headquarters for the St. Clair County Historical Society, housing its offices, library and artifact collections.

Bement

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Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

146 E Wilson St
Bement, IL  61813
Phone: (217) 678-8184

Year Built: 1856
Admission Price: Free
Hours: See their website

Bryant Cottage was built in 1856 as the home of Francis E. Bryant, a local businessman and friend of Stephen A. Douglas. According to Bryant family tradition, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met in the parlor of Bryant Cottage to plan their famous series of 1858 debates. The cottage is maintained with original and period furnishings, providing a glimps of small-town life in the mid-1800s.

Bishop Hill

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Bishop Hill

Bishop Hill Road
Bishop Hill, IL 
Phone: (309) 927-3345

Year Built: 1848
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: See their website

Bishop Hill was the site of a utopian religious community founded in 1846 by Swedish pietist Eric Janson (1808-1850) and his followers. Many consider the Jansonist emigration as the beginning of Swedish America. A number of historically significant buildings have survived and are scattered throughout the village, four of which are owned by the state and managed as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. The Colony Church (1848) is a two-story frame building. The basement and first floor each contain ten rooms, once used as single-room apartments by Colony residents. The second floor contains the Jansonists’ sanctuary, complete with original pews. The three-story stuccoed-brick Colony Hotel (1852-ca. 1860) served commercial travelers and provided a link to the outside world. The “Boys Dormitory” (ca. 1850) is a small two-story frame structure believed to have provided housing for boys making the transition to working adulthood. A Colony barn (mid-1850s) was relocated behind the Hotel to the site of the original Hotel stable.

Bloomington

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David Davis Mansion

1000 Monroe Dr.
Bloomington, IL  61701
Phone: (308) 828-1084

Year Built: 1872
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

On a flat stretch of Illinois prairie—where Yankee pioneers forged their frontier fortunes and Route 66 later carved a path across the rural landscape—stands an elegant Victorian mansion and garden, completed in 1872 for David Davis and his wife, Sarah. The beautifully restored, nineteenth-century estate tells the story of Judge David Davis, whose influence on Abraham Lincoln's legal and political career was crucial to President Lincoln's success.

Cahokia

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Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site

107 Elm St
Cahokia, IL 
Phone: (618) 332-1782

Year Built: 1740
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

The Cahokia Courthouse was built as a residence around 1740, when present-day Illinois was a colony of France. In 1793 the structure was purchased by the Common Pleas Court of the United States Northwest Territory and subsequently became a center of territorial political and legal activity. The building is historically significant as the oldest courthouse in Illinois and the only one remaining from the state’s territorial period (1787-1818). It is architecturally significant as an example of the French Colonial vertical log poteaux-sur-solle (“post-on-sill”) construction technique.

Cairo

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Magnolia Manor

2700 Washington Ave
Cairo, IL 
Phone: (618) 734-0201

Year Built: 1869
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm

Charles A. Galigher was a prominent citizen of Cairo and a milling merchant, who accumulated a fortune by selling flour to the government during the Civil War. Through business transactions, he became a friend of General Ulysses S. Grant, who made his headquarters in Cairo during his siege of the South.

Carmi

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Robinson-Stewart House

110 S Main Cross St
Carmi, IL  62821
Phone: (618) 382-8425

Year Built: 1814
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

The 1814 Robinson-Stewart House was donated to the society in 1966 by its last owner, Miss Mary Jane Stewart, granddaughter of a U.S. Senator from Carmi. All of the home's furnishings, many of which date to the 1830s, were also given to the society, including a desk originally used in the Ratcliff at which Lincoln might have worked during his stay at the Inn, and a silver drinking cup which Lincoln used as he accompanied little Patty Webb of Carmi to Mt. Carmel on the stage coach trip north.

Chicago

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Clarke House Museum

1827 S. Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL  60616
Phone: (312) 326-1480

Year Built: 1836
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: Wed-Sun 12-2pm

Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a middle-class family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when family members could see the campfires of Native Americans in the distance.

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Frederick C. Robie House

5757 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL  60637
Phone: (708) 848-1976

Year Built: 1908
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: Thu-Mon 11am-4pm

The Robie House on the University of Chicago campus is considered one of the most important buildings in the history of American architecture. It was created by Frank Lloyd Wright for his client Frederick C. Robie, a forward-thinking businessman. Designed in Wright's Oak Park studio in 1908 and completed in 1910, the building is both a masterpiece of the Prairie style and renowned as a forerunner of modernism in architecture. Tours of the site offer both a first-hand experience of its amazingly contemporary spaces and the current restoration work that is returning the house to its original appearance.

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Glessner House Museum

1800 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL  60616
Phone: (312) 326-1397

Year Built: 1886
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: Wed-Sun, 1-3pm

The Glessner family lived in this house for fifty years, through the rise and decline of the Prairie Avenue neighborhood. John Glessner cherished the home as a symbol of happy family life, and the interiors of Glessner House demonstrate the nearly perfect collaboration between the architect and his clients. Designed during the so-called Gilded Age, when America’s newly rich industrialists were living in modern-day castles, Glessner House represents Richardson’s response to the Glessners’ desire for a simple, comfortable home that retained the “cozy” feeling of their previous home on West Washington Street.

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Hull House Museum

The University of Illinois at
800 S. Halsted
Chicago, IL  60607
Phone: (312) 413-5353

Year Built: 1856
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

Hull-House, Chicago's first social settlement was not only the private home of Jane Addams and other Hull-House residents, but also a place where immigrants of diverse communities gathered to learn, to eat, to debate, and to acquire the tools necessary to put down roots in their new country. The Museum is comprised of two of the settlement complex's original thirteen buildings, the Hull-Home and the Residents' Dining Hall. These spaces were used variously over the years, including as a nursery school, a library, and a salon for social and political dialogue.

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Noble-Seymour-Crippen House

5622-24 N Newark Ave
Chicago, IL  60631
Phone: (773) 631-4633

Year Built: 1833
Admission Price: Free
Hours: Sat, noon-4 pm

This house is the oldest extant house in Chicago. It is home to the Norwood Park Historical Society. Norwood Park is the name of the neighborhood the home is located in.

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Richard H. Driehaus Museum

40 East Erie Street
Chicago, IL  60611
Phone: (312) 482-8933

Year Built: 1883
Admission Price: Adults $20, Seniors $12.50, Students/Youth $10; To
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues-Sat, Noon-5 p.m. Sun

Steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, the Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of the Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion, one of the few remaining examples of homes erected by the wealthy of America's Gilded Age. The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, and stained glass, including a magnificent selection of works by Tiffany Studios selected from the Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts.

Clinton

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C. H. Moore Homestead

219 E. Woodlawn
Clinton, IL  61727
Phone: (217) 935-6066

Year Built: 1867
Admission Price: Adults $3, Children $1
Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm, Apr-Dec

Construction was started on the C. H. Moore Homestead by John and Minerva Moore Bishop. Mr. Bishop was a prosperous grain and lumber dealer in Clinton. Work on the C. H. Moore Homestead was completed in 1867 after the Civil War had ended and life took on a more normal pattern. Soon after this, the Bishops lost their only child. After Minerva Bishop's death in the early 1880's, Mr. Bishop sold the house to his brother-in-law, Clifton H. Moore.

Danville

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Vermilion County Museum

116 N. Gilbert Street
Danville, IL  61832
Phone: (217) 442-2922

Year Built: 1855
Admission Price: Adults $4, Children $1
Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm

Built in 1855, the house has been restored and furnished in the Victorian style. Abraham Lincoln made a speech from the balcony while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 1858. He also stayed in one of the bedrooms while visiting friends.

Decatur

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Governor Oglesby Mansion

421 W. William St.
Decatur, IL  62522
Phone: (217) 429-9422

Year Built: 1874
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

Governor Oglesby had the Mansion built around 1874. The highlight of the Mansion's history is a visit by former Civil War General and United States President Ulysses S. Grant in 1880. From one of the Mansion's verandas Grant spoke to a crowd of people during an encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veterans' association.

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Homestead Prairie Farm

3939 Nearing Lane
Decatur, IL  62521
Phone: (217) 423-7708

Year Built: 1850
Admission Price: Free
Hours: Sat-Sun 1-4pm Jun-Oct

Joseph Trobaugh from Tennessee, his wife Elizabeth born in Illinois and their family were the first known occupants of the house and owned it from 1853 to 1866. Trobaugh was a farmer and sawmill operator. He changed the house by adding rooms and making other renovations. Emanuel Good, a Civil War veteran, along with his wife and children were the second family to live there. The Goods owned the house from 1866 to 1903, selling it one year after Emanuel's death.

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Macon County Historical Society Museum

5580 North Fork Road
Decatur, IL  62521
Phone: (217) 422-4919

Year Built:
Admission Price: Adults $2, Children $1
Hours: Tue-Sat, & 4th Sun, 1-4pm

The three acre complex includes galleries and a historic prairie village.

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The James Millikin Homestead

125 North Pine Street
Decatur, IL  62522
Phone: (217) 422-9003

Year Built: 1875
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The former residence of James and Anna Millikin, founders of Millikin University, Millikin Bank, and Millikin Estate Trust. Construction of the Millikin home began in July 1875, and continued into 1876. The home cost approximately $18,000 to build, but as Mr. Millikin was fond of reminiscing, "The best of carpenters could be had for $1.25 to $1.50 a day, and brick-layers were paid not over $2.00 a day." The working day was 10 hours long.

DeKalb

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Elwood House Museum

509 North First Street
DeKalb, IL  60115
Phone: (815) 756-4609

Year Built: 1879
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The story of the Ellwood House reflects the central role of Isaac Ellwood in the development of the barbed wire industry in America. The magnificent estate is also a testimony to three generations of the Ellwood family whose tastes shaped the evolution of the house and grounds.

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Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center

921 W. Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL  60115
Phone: (815) 756-7904

Year Built: 1861
Admission Price: Adults, $4; under age 14, free
Hours: Tuesdays, 10 am-2 p..m.; 2nd & 4th Sundays, noon-4 p.m. (also by appointment)

The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center includes a home and brick barn built in 1861, by Joseph F. Glidden, inventor of "The Winner" barbed wire (patented Nov. 1874). The features a working Blacksmith Shop in the Old Mill House.

Dixon

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Boyhood Home of President Ronald Reagan

816 S. Hennepin Ave.
Dixon, IL  61021
Phone: (815) 288-5176

Year Built:
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

Reagan's family moved to this home when he was 9 years old.

Edwardsville

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Madison County Historical Museum

715 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL  62025
Phone: (618) 656-7562

Year Built: 1836
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

Housed in a restored Federal style residence built in 1836, the museum contains period furnishings, displays of Indian and pioneer artifacts, and changing exhibits of quilts and costumes.

Ellis Grove

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Pierre Menard Home

4230 Kaskaskia Rd
Ellis Grove, IL 
Phone: (618) 859-3031

Year Built: 1815
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: Wed-Sun 9am-5pm

The two-story ca. 1815 home is an unusually fine example of French Creole-style architecture, built into gently sloping land at the bottom of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Among the notable features are a steep double-hipped roof and a galerie, or porch, that wraps the building’s front façade and gable ends. The ground level contains a small museum and an audiovisual room. The second, or principal, floor represents living spaces used by the Menard family.

Evanston

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Evanston History Center

225 Greenwood Street
Evanston, IL  60201
Phone: (847) 475-3410

Year Built: 1894
Admission Price: $10
Hours: Thu-Sun 1-3pm

The Dawes House was built in 1894-5 on a two-acre lakeshore site. Designed in the style of French chateaux by Henry Edwards-Ficken of New York, the massive three-and-a- half story structure has twenty-five rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and eleven fireplaces. The Evanston History Center, located in the historic Charles Gates Dawes House, strives to capture and teach Evanston’s rich history.

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Frances Willard House Museum

1730 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL  60201
Phone: (847) 328-7500

Year Built: 1865
Admission Price: Adults $10, Children $5
Hours: 1st & 3rd Sun, 1-4pm

Built in 1865, and patterned after a design by Andrew J. Downing, this Evanston house was home to Frances Willard (1839-1898). Both author and activist, Frances Willard lived and worked in this house during the years of her presidency of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). For many of those years, the house also served as an informal national headquarters for the WCTU and a boarding house for its workers.

Freeport

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Stephenson County Historical Society

1440 South Carroll Avenue
Freeport, IL  61032
Phone: (815) 232-8419

Year Built: 1857
Admission Price: Adults $4, Children $2
Hours: Wed-Sun 12-4pm

The Stephenson County Historical Society's collection is housed in the former home of Oscar and Malvina Snow Taylor. The Taylors were one of Freeport's prominent early families. Descendents of their only son, Oscar Jr., donated the home to the Historical Society in 1944. The home is decorated as it would have been when the Taylors lived there during the Victorian era. The museum's exhibits and collections provide insight into the history of many eminent Stephenson County families and businesses.

Galena

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Belvedere Mansion and Gardens

1008 Park Avenue
Galena, Il  61036
Phone: (815) 777-0747

Year Built: 1857
Admission Price: Adults $12, Children $6
Hours: Sun-Fri 11am-4pm, Sat 11-5pm Mid-May to Mid Nov

Built in 1857 by J. Russell Jones, a steamboat owner and ambassador to Belgium. The 22 room Italianate mansion contains decorative arts and period furnishings.

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Dowling House

220 Diagonal Street
Galena, IL  61036
Phone: (815) 777-1250

Year Built: 1826
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

Galena's oldest house, Dowling House, was built in 1826 by John Dowling. Built of limestone, it was once the only trading post in the city. The Dowling House was equipped with primitive living quarters and hosted many fur traders in years past. Tour guides provide a complete history of the development of the City of Galena and Dowling House while you browse through quaint artifacts from the early nineteenth century.

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Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society

211 S. Bench St.
Galena, IL  61036
Phone: (815) 777-9129

Year Built: 1858
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors $6, Children $5
Hours: Daily 9am-4:30pm

The 1858 Daniel A Barrows house (211 S. Bench St.) was designed for Barrows by William Dennison, the architect who designed the U.S. Grant home on Bouthillier Street. This three-story house was tailored to hold Barrows's large family, consisting of his Wife Anna, one son, five daughters, his mother, and one female servant. Construction on the house was completed in 1859.

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Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site

500 Bouthillier St
Galena, IL 
Phone: (815) 777-3310

Year Built: 1859
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: See their website

The Italianate structure known as the U. S. Grant Home was built in 1859-60 as a residence by Alexander J. Jackson of Galena. When Ulysses S. Grant returned to the city in 1865 as a Civil War hero, he was presented the house—purchased by a group of prominent local Republicans, including Elihu B. Washburne—as part of the city’s celebration. Grant used the home as his official political and voting address, living there with his family during his 1868 presidential campaign, then for a few brief periods during his presidency (1869-1877) and retirement. He visited for the last time in 1880.

Geneva

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Fabyan Villa Museum

1511 S. Batavia Ave.
Geneva, IL 
Phone: (630) 377-6424

Year Built: 1905
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The Fabyan Villa was home to Colonel George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. Riverbank, the name they bestowed upon their property, was initially their summer escape from Chicago. They hired Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 to enlarge and re-model the existing farmhouse and shortly thereafter, took up permanent residence at the Villa, as they called their home. They acquired 300+ acres, creating a country estate which soon became a lavish showplace complete with fountains, gardens, a Roman-style swimming pool, a Dutch-style windmill, a private zoo, a working lighthouse, a boathouse, tennis courts, and more. The Fabyans pursued their varied interests on their estate, including horticulture, animal husbandry, and scientific research.

Grand Detour

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John Deere Historic Site

8334 S. Clinton St.
Grand Detour, IL  61021
Phone: (815) 652-4551

Year Built: 1836
Admission Price: $5, under 12 free
Hours: Wed-Sun 9-5pm May-Oct

In 1836, John Deere, a blacksmith recently transplanted from Vermont, set up shop in the small Rock River town of Grand Detour, Illinois. The John Deere Historic Site features the home John Deere built, a gift shop, and an archaeological exhibit that shows the site of John Deere's original blacksmith shop.

La Salle

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Hegeler Carus Mansion

1307 Seventh St
La Salle, IL  61301
Phone: (815) 224-5891

Year Built: 1874
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors (65+) $6, Students (K-12) $5
Hours: Wed. - Sun. 12, 1, 2, and 3 p.m.

The stately Hegeler Carus Mansion, a recipient of National Historic Landmark status, is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Virtually unaltered since its completion more than a century ago, the Mansion is at once a family home, an example of high artistic achievement in architecture and interior design, and the site of historic accomplishments in industry, philosophy, publishing and religion. Visitors today experience the grandeur of a bygone era and the heritage of a fascinating family whose history is woven tightly with that of the Illinois Valley and the United States, as well as internationally.

Libertyville

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Ansel B. Cook House

413 North Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL  60048
Phone: (847) 362-2330

Year Built: 1878
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: 2-4pm, Sun, Jun-Aug

The Ansel B. Cook House was built by its namesake on the site of the first permanent dwelling in Libertyville. In his will, Cook deeded his home to be used as a library. After a facade reconstruction, Cook Memorial Library opened in 1921. In 1968, following construction of the present Cook Memorial Library, the Cook mansion became the headquarters of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Some of the rooms are reserved for museum-type displays while others depict Victorian period rooms. The home is open Sundays during June, July and August from 2 to 4 p.m. They also host a Victorian Christmas Open House on designated weekends in December.

Lombard

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Victorian Cottage Museum

Lombard Historical Society
23 W. Maple St.
Lombard, IL  60148
Phone: (630) 629-1885

Year Built: 1882
Admission Price: free
Hours: Wed, Fri, & Sun 1-4pm

The 1882 Victorian Cottage Museum has four period rooms and two exhibit rooms on display. Its collection reflects middle-class, midwestern, Victorian era material culture.

Naperville

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Naper Settlement

523 South Webster Street
Naperville, IL  60540
Phone: (630) 420-6010

Year Built: 1883
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The 13 acre museum village has 25 historic buildings and costumed docents to explain them all.

Oak Park

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Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

951 Chicago Avenue
Oak Park, IL  60302
Phone: (708) 848-1976

Year Built: 1889
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: Daily 11am-4pm

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (1889/1898) served as Wright's private residence and workplace from 1889 to 1909—the first 20 years of his career. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, experimenting with design concepts that contain the seeds of his architectural philosophy. Here he raised six children with his first wife, Catherine Tobin.

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Pleasant Home

217 Home Ave.
Oak Park, IL  60302
Phone: (708) 383-2654

Year Built: 1897
Admission Price: Adults $5, Students $3
Hours: See their website

Pleasant Home is a national architectural treasure, designed in 1897 by prominent Prairie Style architect George W. Maher for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson. The home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie School architecture and is the finest surviving example of Maher’s work. Though Maher designed more than 300 structures in the Unites States, Pleasant Home is the only Maher building open to the public as a museum.

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Pleasant Home Foundation

217 Home Avenue
Oak Park, IL  60302
Phone: (708) 383-2654

Year Built: 1897
Admission Price: Adults $10, Seniors/Students $8, Children 5-17 $5,
Hours: 12:30 - 3:30pm, Thursday - Sunday

Pleasant Home, also known as the John Farson House, is a landmark Prairie Style house museum located in the heart of Oak Park, Illinois, one the nation’s most architecturally significant villages. Pleasant Home is a national architectural treasure, designed in 1897 by prominent Prairie Style architect George W. Maher for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson. The home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie School architecture and is the finest surviving example of Maher’s work. Though Maher designed more than 300 structures in the Unites States, Pleasant Home is the only Maher building open to the public as a museum.

Peoria

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John C Flanagan House Museum

942 NE Glen Oak Ave
Peoria, IL  61603
Phone: (309) 674-1921 • Toll Free: (309) 274-6792

Year Built: 1837
Admission Price: adults $7.00, students $3, under 6 free
Hours: Open first Sundays, tours anytime by appointment

Known in its day as "The Manse on the Hill", Flanagan is the oldest standing residence in Peoria, is virtually unchanged since it was built and offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley. On the National Register of Historic Places, it serves as headquarters to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Peoria Chapter.

Petersburg

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Edgar Lee Masters Home and Museum

8th & Jackson Sts.
Petersburg, IL 
Phone: (217) 632-7363

Year Built:
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: Tue, Thu-Sat 10-3pm Memorial Day - Labor Day

Boyhood residence of the poet. Living room restored to 1870-1875 period. Rest of house is museum of family history

Plano

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Farnsworth House

14520 River Road
Plano, IL  60545
Phone: (630) 552-0052

Year Built: 1951
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The Farnsworth House, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1951 and located near Plano, Illinois, is one of the most famous examples of modernist domestic architecture and was considered unprecedented in its day.

Quincy

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Governor John Wood Mansion

425 South 12th Street
Quincy, IL  62301
Phone: (217) 222-1835

Year Built: 1835
Admission Price: Adults $3, Students $1.50
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-2pm Apr-Oct

The home is headquarters for the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County.

Rock Island

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Colonel Davenport House

Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, IL  61204
Phone: (309) 786-7336

Year Built: 1833
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The Davenport House is historically important for several reasons. First, it reflects the growth in the prosperity of one man, George Davenport. Davenport was a settler, provider, homesteader, businessman and counselor. His history equals the Quad City's history shaping its growth and development. On a much larger scale, it reflects the settling of the West. When George Davenport arrived with the U.S. Army in 1816, their mission was to establish fortification in the wilderness for the U.S. Government. The protection afforded by this fort attracted settlers to this wild, rich land.

Rockford

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Midway Village Museum

6799 Guilford Road
Rockford, IL  61107
Phone: (815) 397-9112

Year Built:
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture that include The Girls of Summer: Rockford Peaches of the AAGPBL, Queen City of the Prairies: Rockford's First 20 Years and The Missing Link: Socks, Monkeys and Rockford's Industrial Past.

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Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens

411 Kent St.
Rockford, IL  61102
Phone: (815) 964-2424

Year Built: 1865
Admission Price: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Students $3
Hours: See their web site

Rockford, Illinois businessman Robert Hall Tinker built the home in 1865, perching it high on a limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek. His inspiration came from an 1862 tour of Europe where he fell in love with the architecture of Switzerland. Today the Cottage is one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the United States from the 1800s.

Springfield

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Dana-Thomas House

301 East Lawrence Avenue
Springfield, IL  62703
Phone: (217) 782-6773

Year Built: 1902
Admission Price: Adults $5, Children $3
Hours: Wed-Sun 9am-4pm

The Dana-Thomas House (DTH) was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902 for Susan Lawrence Dana, a forward-thinking socialite living in Springfield, Illinois. The home, the 72nd building designed by Wright, contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Wright’s first “blank check” commission, the home has 35 rooms in the 12,000 square feet of living space which includes 3 main levels and 16 varying levels in all.

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Edwards Place Historic Home

700 N. 4th Street
Springfield, IL  62702
Phone: (217) 523-2631

Year Built: 1843
Admission Price: $3 Donation
Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-2pm

The oldest home in Springfield on its original foundation, Edwards Place tells the story of Benjamin and Helen Edwards and their life at the home from 1843 to 1909. The wonderfully preserved Italianate mansion was one a center for social activity in Springfield. Prominent citizens and politicians such as Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were entertained at lavish dinner parties and the grounds played host to many summer picnics and political rallies.

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Lincoln Home National Historic Site

413 South Eighth Street
Springfield, IL  62701
Phone: (217) 492-4241

Year Built: 1839
Admission Price: Free
Hours: Daily 8:30am-5pm

The house that would become the future Lincoln Home was built in 1839 for the Reverend Charles Dresser. Dresser actually married Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd in 1842. When the house was completed, the house stood one-and-a-half stories tall with five rooms including a sleeping loft.

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The Executive Mansion

5th and Jackson
Springfield, IL 
Phone: (217) 782-6450

Year Built:
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for info

The Illinois Executive Mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied Governor's home in the nation. Seven Presidents, including Lincoln, have been received here. Three levels are open to the public including four formal parlors; a state dining room; ballroom; four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom; and a library handcrafted from Native American Black Walnut.

Sterling

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Dillon Home Museum

1005 East Third Street
Sterling, IL  61081
Phone: (815) 622-6202

Year Built: 1857
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: See their website

This 1857 home contains the original furnishings and accessories of P.W. Dillon. The carriage house displays local history exhibits. A vintage locomotive and caboose are displayed on the grounds.

Vandalia

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Little Brick House

621 St. Clair Street
Vandalia, IL 
Phone: (618) 283-4866

Year Built: 1860
Admission Price: Call for info
Hours: Call for appt.

Josephine Burtschi, local artist and historian, was born in this house.In 1956 she purchased the house and started restoring it to its original appearance. Over the years, the Little Brick House has been renovated and furnished with period pieces, antiques, and early Vandalia artifacts. Contained within the six rooms are furniture, china, engravings and books acquired from descendants of state officers, legislators and the Ferdinand Ernst Colony who lived in Vandalia when it served as capital. The library, called the Berry-Hall room, pays tribute to James William Berry, the first talented artist of Illinois, and to Judge James Hall who established Vandalia as the first literary center west of Cincinnati.

Vernon Hills

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Cuneo Mansion and Gardens

1350 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Vernon Hills, IL  60061
Phone: (847) 362-3042

Year Built: 1908
Admission Price: Adults $10, Seniors & Students $9
Hours: See their website

Construction on the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens began in 1908 and stopped during World War I. It was completed in 1918 as the home of Samuel Insull, an original founder of the General Electric Company, and designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall in the Italianate style. Its gardens and landscaping were designed by world-renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. In 1937, John Cuneo Sr. bought the home. He and his wife, Julia, had two children, John Jr. and Consuela, whom they raised on the estate. John Sr. owned and operated Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy, the National Tea Company, and the Cuneo Press. The mansion, which opened to the public as the Cuneo Museum and Gardens in 1991, houses the Cuneo family collection of fine antiques, paintings by world-famous artists, tapestries, sculptures, silver, and porcelain.

Waukegan

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Waukegan History Museum / John C. Haines house

1917 N. Sheridan Road
Waukegan, IL  60087
Phone: (847) 336-1859

Year Built: 1843
Admission Price: Free
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-4pm; Saturdays 1-4pm

The Waukegan Historical Society’s headquarters is the Waukegan History Museum located in beautiful Bowen Park. The Museum is the former home of John C. Haines, a past mayor of Chicago, Illinois. The Haines House was built about 1843, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in Lake County. It was enlarged to its present size in the 1870s. Today, the Museum portrays life of the late Victorian period in 1870s Waukegan through the use of carefully researched wallpapers, carpets, drapes, light fixtures, and period furnishings from prominent Waukegan families.

Wheaton

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Cantigny

1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL  60189
Phone: (630) 668-5161

Year Built: 1896
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The Museum is an historic house museum that depicts the country home of a family that made the Chicago Tribune the “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” Built in 1896 for Joseph Medill, the house and grounds, known as Red Oak Farm, first passed to Joseph’s daughter Katherine and then to her youngest son, Robert Rutherford. Robert and his first wife Amy used the house first as a summer home and later as their permanent residence. They renamed the estate “Cantigny” to honor the French village where Robert served with the First Division in World War I.

Victorian Preservation Association - P.O. Box 586 - San Jose, CA 95106-0586 - Email:info@vpa.org

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