Tag Archives: Illinois

Mansions in the Fading City of Cairo, Illinois

Cairo, once a thriving river town of over 15,000 people feels like a ghost town with less than 3000 people and many abandoned buildings and dilapidated structures.  Many wonderful historic buildings have been lost to time.

We did find a few old mansions holding on to a different era.  The street, Washington Avenue, where these homes are located, was once called Millionaires Row.

Riverlore Mansion, Cairo, Illinois (built 1865)
Riverlore Mansion, Cairo, Illinois (built 1865)


Magnolia Manor, Cairo, Illinois (built 1869)

Magnolia Manor, Cairo, Illinois (built 1869)

Visiting Mr. Lincoln in Springfield

When I saw that Springfield, Illinois was only a fairly short drive from St. Louis, it became a good excuse to visit one of our greatest presidents.  There are many stories that can be found concerning Lincoln’s Tomb, some rather interesting such as grave robbers who tried to steal his body for ransom.

We also visited Lincoln’s home where the National Park Service has done an outstanding job preserving not only Lincoln’s home but the whole street.

This home was purchased by Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln in 1844.  It was the only home that he ever owned.  During the time he lived there, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, and elected President in 1860.  Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln donated the family home to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would forever be well-maintained and open to the public at no charge.

Dana-Thomas Home by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Dana-Thomas Home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is located in Springfield, Illinois.

From the homes website:

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.

Due to budget cuts we were unable to tour the inside however a groundskeeper let us in the courtyard to take pictures and peak in windows.  It is truly amazing as this was technically a remodel and is a great example of his early Prairie Style homes and organic architecture.