Dana-Thomas House By Frank Lloyd Wright

Dana-Thomas House by Frank Lloyd Wright

A few weeks ago, we embarked on a 1000-mile journey to the All-American Junior Sheep show in Springfield, Illinois.  My wife and I were taking our son, the last active 4H member of the family, to the largest youth sheep show in the country.  There were over 3000 sheep and 1000 kids showing them. So, we loaded up the sheep trailer and headed west.  For me, it was a remote working week while they were showing sheep and it afforded me a chance to slip away to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s early works, the Dana-Thomas House, as well as to visit Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s home in Springfield.

The Dana-Thomas House was magnificent and even more so considering this home was designed early in Wrights’ practice when he was only 35 years old.  Built between 1902 and 1904, it was Wrights’ opportunity to express his ‘Prairie Style’ design with a substantial budget.  He designed everything inside and outside of the home including the furniture, lighting, stained-glass windows, even the flower vases.

Dana-Thomas House

Dana-Thomas House

Every sheep show starts with loading up the trailer, making sure everyone is comfortable and confirming we have not forgotten anything important.

Heading Out-Trailer Loaded

Heading Out-Trailer Loaded

Sheep And Sheep Families As Far As The Eye Can See

Sheep and Sheep Families As Far As the Eye Can See

This was one of 4 gigantic barn-pavilions in the Illinois State Fairgrounds

Young 4Her Washing His Sheep

Young 4Her Washing His Sheep

Two Of Our Sheep

Two of Our Sheep

Our Sheep Ready For Trimming

Our Sheep Ready for Trimming

Judging Time

Judging Time

I enjoyed touring the Lincoln home as well as the exhibits in neighboring homes that have been preserved.  Of course, I found it very interesting that the Lincolns bought their house in 1844 and after living there 10 years, they decided to renovate just like many of us do today.  They bought a story and a half Greek Revival home and then hired a contractor to add a second story to the house.  The addition gave them an extra parlor, a dining room, a guest room, and Mrs. Lincoln got her own bedroom.  They lived there until 1861 when the Lincolns went to Washington.

Lincoln Home 1844

Lincoln Home 1844

Story And A Half Layout

Story and a Half Layout

Two Story Layout

Two Story Layout

Abraham And Mary Todd Lincoln'S Home

Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s Home Today

Photos by Rob Karosis  Curated Brochure by Crisp Architects: Portfolio

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About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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    Carol Rohde July 8, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jimmy.
    Aunt Carol

  2. 6083F2D2F6E4A79A72A0De492Cb7Ebeb?S=54&R=G
    Dave Jack July 22, 2021 at 7:12 am

    A long, but wonderful field trip to Central Illinois. Should you ever return, remember to check out Millikin Place in Decatur, IL, a collaboration of FL Wright, Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin, 50 minutes due East of the Dana Thomas House.

  3. A5Ccec2Df4Ebc1334Ab8389E0179E8B4?S=54&R=G
    Chris Siedor July 22, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Jim: Thanks for the wonderful trip down memory lane. We lived in Springfield for seven years eons ago and more recently next door to the farmhouse you renovated in Sheffield, MA….now we are back in the Chicago area. We took our grandkids to the local county fair last week and they loved the sheep. Hope they become 4H’ers when they are a bit older. Chris

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