The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum did not open any time soon after Lincoln’s death. Instead, this library and museum opened in 2005 and while everyone loves the exhibits of Lincoln’s life, many people spend the majority of their time in the Treasures Gallery. The Treasures Gallery is a rotating exhibit of precious artifacts that were Lincoln’s.
Abraham Lincoln only owned one home and he lived there with his wife, Mary, for seventeen years. People have been able to tour this home since 1887 and they learn about the life of Lincoln as a lawyer, politician, and finally President of the United States. Anyone who goes on a tour of the house will find themselves seeing the formal parlor, sitting room, dining room, guest room, Abraham Lincoln’s bedroom, Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, child’s room, help’s room, kitchen, the backyard, and outbuildings.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Dana-Thomas House for socialite Susan Lawrence Dana. This house is where people can see the largest collection of original Wright art glass and furniture. Inside the 12,000 square feet of the house, there are thirty-five rooms amongst the sixteen levels.
Lincoln’s Tomb has a base of seventy-two square feet and the one-hundred-seventeen-foot-tall obelisk is above the terrace. Abraham Lincoln is buried at the tomb along with his wife, Mary, and three of his sons, Edward, William, and Thomas. Abraham Lincoln’s remains are in a concrete vault ten feet below the marble floor, while his wife and three sons are buried in crypts in the chamber’s South wall. Everyone who visits Lincoln’s Tomb will rub the nose on the bronze statue of Lincoln for good luck. There are three war memorials near the Lincoln Tomb. These war memorials include the World War II Illinois Veteran’s Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The Old State Capitol was built in 1839 when the state decided to move the capital of the state to Springfield. Abraham Lincoln spent a lot of time inside the Old State Capitol, first as a state lawmaker, then as a lawyer, and finally as his body was laid in rest after his assassination and before his burial. The Old State Capitol is still used for ceremonial events and people can tour it on their own or with a guide.
The current Illinois State Capitol has four floors as well as a dome and this is where the Senate and the House can be found while they are in session. The construction of this State Capitol began in 1868, however, it took twenty years to complete the building.
There are five permanent exhibits on display inside the Illinois State Museum including At Home in the Heartland, Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments, Peoples of the Past, The Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum, and Anthropology Hall. There are multiple temporary exhibits that rotate on a regular basis and the ones that are on display currently are Hot Science, Manierre Dawson, Just Good Art, and Michiko Itatani.
The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site is a brick building that was built in 1841. The building was part of the now demolished Tinsley Block, but the law offices were carefully preserved. The building has been restored so that it looks like the offices where Lincoln and Herndon practiced law in the 1840s.
Henson C. Robinson was a prominent Springfield citizen who wanted to build a zoo. Construction of the Henson Robinson Zoo began in 1968 and the zoo opened at the end of the summer of 1970. The zoo has ninety animals from Australia, Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. The zoo is open from the middle of March through the end of December every year. Guests may be able to visit the zoo during the months that it is closed, because they do open for special programs and events.
There are twenty acres of land inside the Washington Park Botanical Garden with over 1,800 species of plants. All of the plants are within the ten garden areas as well as the Conservatory. Visitors can experience the rainforests of South America and the jungles of Asia, plus see orchids, lilies, poinsettias, and Japanese bonsai displays. One of the ten gardens is filled with more than 5,000 rose bushes.