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“Frank LLoyd Write”
Review of Dana-Thomas House

Dana-Thomas House
Ranked #4 of 58 things to do in Springfield
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Frank LLoyd Write”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

If you are a F.L.Write aficionado this house is a must see. Next to Falling Waters it is one of the most impressive of his homes. The windows alone are magnificent. More than any other house.
Our tour guide was very informative and really knew her "stuff." If you get the first tour of the day it will probably be small in size. A donation is all that is asked. Along with free parking a real steal in Springfield.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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828 reviews from our community

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English first
Cascade, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
284 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Tour of the Dana-Thomas House”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This large Frank Lloyd Wright home is in very good shape and includes a one hour tour. Cost is a donation of your choice. There is free parking in the rear of the home. Tours last one hour and are NOT offered on Mondays or Tuesdays

Visited March 2013
Thank donandbobbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A must-see example of Wright architecture”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a fully restored 1902 home that is in excellent condition. We had a fabulous tour, saw almost all of the enormous house, and learned so much about the times and the lady who had the house built. If you are a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, you must see this house. There are many stairs, though, so it is not suitable for very young children or people who have trouble with stairs.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zionsville, Indiana
Level Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Architectural Enthusiasts and History Buffs – Not To Be Missed!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

I visited the Dana-Thompson House in early March 2013 while touring Lincoln sites and other area attractions and can honestly state that I was BLOWN AWAY by this absolute gem, which still manages to maintain an image of some imposing majesty, despite its location in a now down-at-the-heels neighborhood. But back in its heyday circa 1910 (the era the house has been restored to)…oh, my. It must have been quite a sight.

Entering the foyer and pausing in front of the impressive and original Frank Lloyd Wright designed sculpture which welcomes visitors, you certainly do not have the impression of a now 110 year-old structure, so obvious is the energy that the design of this space was far, far ahead of its time. One is immediately impressed by the feeling of expansiveness, space, flow, and light which pours in from the massive banks of art windows, all still unbelievably intact, despite a nearly 20 year period during which the house stood unused. Also eye-catching are the original light fixtures, particularly those that hang in the formal dining room, which today could never be duplicated, so rare are they in craftsmanship and beauty.

Room after room caused me to gasp (on the inside, if not audibly), I could barely absorb the details that presented themselves in such great abundance, each seeming to embody the spirit of a particular bygone time – elegant, yet so simple. While not particularly impressive architecturally, I was nonetheless moved in a quiet way by what the docent referred to as “the living room”, whose structural footprint and the original Victorian cast iron fireplace are the only surviving relics of Mrs. Dana’s childhood home (which had originally been intended to be “remodeled” by Frank Lloyd Wright, but obviously the project progressed far beyond that). It was just a sweet homage to the past, and the favorite room of Mrs. Dana’s mother, who continued to live in the home even after it had become something which must have appeared, I can only guess, so alien to her.

Alas, advancing age and a diminishing fortune led Mrs. Dana to leave her beloved home after 20 years of occupancy, but the torch continued to be carried by a FLW-devotee who used the former dwelling as the headquarters for his publishing business. The property was subsequently sold to the State of Illinois – lock, stock, and all original contents included – for the bargain price of $1 million in the 1980s. Considering that one of the pair of the home’s original office desk lamps sold at Christie’s a few years ago for $1.5 million ITSELF (for a desk lamp!), what you see at the Dana-Thompson house can never be duplicated.

If you’re in the area – or you love Frank Lloyd Wright, architecture in general, great old homes, history, or that booming time before the money was lost -- do not miss the Dana-Thompson House! The one-hour tour only served to whet my appetite; what I wouldn’t give to “go behind the scenes…”

Visited March 2013
1 Thank IndyAngie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Wow, what a great house and such history there. The tour is wonderful. I imagine living in such a house. Great place to go if visiting the Springfield area.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank townvisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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