I Almost Forgot!

There is one more place we visited in Springfield, Illinois: The Dana Thomas House (also known as the Susan Lawrence Dana House and Dana House). It was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1902-1904 for Susan Lawrence Dana.

Susan Lawrence Dana was an independent-minded woman and heiress to a fortune which included silver mines in the Rocky Mountains. When she was introduced to Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902, she knew she had found an architect that would match her desire to stress congruence between the interior of a building with its surroundings.

The home was to reflect Dana’s flamboyant personality and her love of Japanese prints and drawings which Wright also admired. The home was designed for both display and entertaining.

Dana lived in the home from 1904 until 1928. Because of financial constraints in her later years, she closed the main house in 1928 and moved into a small cottage on the grounds. She struggled with age related dementia in the 1940s when her home and it’s contents were sold to Charles C. Thomas.

Thomas was a successful medical publisher, and lived in the home from 1944 until his death in 1969. Thomas and his wife maintained the house’s original furnishings and design. Their estate sold the home and its furnishings to the state of Illinois in 1981.

The home became a state historic site under the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency which restored it in 1987-1990. The restoration returned it to its 1910 appearance. The home is believed to contain one of the most intact Frank Lloyd Wright designed interiors in the United States.

Here are a few photos of the exterior of the home.

The leaded stained glass windows are GORGEOUS, and these pictures just couldn’t capture their beauty. When you are inside the home, looking out through the windows, their beauty is unmatched!

This is the front door. Although it may not look like much from this angle, when you walk through it, it is stunning!

The taking of photographs inside the house is not allowed. 😢 However, if you are really curious, you can Google it and see some beautiful pictures of the interior. I will warn you, though. Even though the pictures of the interior are gorgeous, they do NOT do it justice. You really MUST go see it in person! The tour guides are so knowledgeable and share SO much interesting information about the house.

We have been in the STL since October 4th. We are spending some time with our parents and families. We are planning on heading south for the winter on November 7th. Therefore, it will be about a month before I publish another post.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

Knoxville … ILLINOIS

We are on our way back to Missouri today, slowly but surely. We made an overnight stop in the small town of Knoxville, Illinois.

It only has a population of around 3200, but we found the BEST pizza place ever. It’s called Alfano’s Pizzeria.

Alfano’s is pretty much what you would expect of a small, hometown pizza place. It wasn’t fancy, but the people were very friendly.

We ordered a large Hawaiian pizza, and since that was one of the “specialty” pizzas, we got FREE cheesy bread sticks with marinara sauce. The bread sticks were made on a large pizza pan, so it was like we had two large pizzas. Both the cheesey bread sticks and the pizza were delicious!

We were almost finished, and our waitress asked if we would like a scoop of FREE ice cream! Yep! Free ice cream! Of course, we said yes, and we both got chocolate.

However, the BEST part of our supper was the … wait for it … the BILL! For a large, three topping pizza and large cheesey bread sticks and 2 scoops of ice cream plus drinks, the bill was $23.30. We couldn’t believe it. Needless to say, we have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night.

If you are ever on I 74 in Illinois, close to Knoxville, and are hungry, stop by Alfano’s Pizzeria. Your wallet will thank you.

After we ate, we drove around town for a little bit. Knoxville was settled in 1831. There are many buildings and homes from that time period still standing in the town (many on the Historic Register). You can even take a self guided walking tour of the downtown area and see 60 historic buildings.

We couldn’t do that because it was Sunday evening and everything was closed. If you’re there during the week, just stop by the Visitor’s Center to get a map of the historic buildings.

I snapped some pictures as we drove around.

An Episcopal Church.

The building on the left is now the City Hall. I’m not sure what the building on the right was or is now.

Looking down Main Street.

John Sanburn’s original log cabin (it’s been restored).

I would have loved to go inside this log cabin. I did, however, peek through the windows.

Knoxville High School.

Knoxville High School is unusual because it’s a curved building.

Knoxville, Illinois, seemed like a great little town. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to explore it further.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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