Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Give Us the Dana-Thomas House

Inspired by a conversation I heard this morning on WMAY’s The Jim Leach Show, I’d like to propose the State of Illinois turn the Dana-Thomas House over to the City of Springfield. I bet the city would even throw in the Maisenbacher House if the State wanted to trade outright. Springfield could use the money that will eventually be allocated for the Maisenbacher House to reopen the Dana-Thomas House.

Seriously though, there is no certainty that the State of Illinois will ever reopen the historic home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, so why not just give it away to some responsible party that wants to keep it open. It was obviously a very low priority for the State and the house primarily benefits Springfield anyway. I have no idea what the cost of maintaining the home is (I’m sure it’s a lot), but it surely would be a bigger draw to the community than the Maisenbacher House. I’m in favor of keeping both but if we have to prioritize, I say go with Dana-Thomas.

Also I think keeping the Dana-Thomas House open has reached a new level of urgency when its closing has the unintended consequence of cockblocking. And if that don’t get ya, try this emotional appeal.


Anonymous said...


The city has its own budget problems. That would open up a new can of worms.

I say its time we cash in on our first Obama pork barrel project. Make it a National Historic Site. We'll get the professionalism and consistency we have with the Lincoln Home neighborhood. There's a good case to make that it's significant enough for the designation. I'm going to call Durbin's office to suggest it. He'll be happy to hear form someone who isn't complaining about George Ryan.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this. The house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is far more important than that Maisenbacher house. It concerns me that it is closed up and, the longer it is closed, the less likely it is to re-open not to mention the state of disrepair that could come with being closed.

I have a connection to this house. When I was a child I belonged to the CAR (like DAR, only for kids), and we helped to contribute to this house as a state project while I was part of the organization.

That aside, the house is simply amazing and having a historic Frank Lloyd Wright house in town is an amazing privilege - one we should try to do something to protect.

Anonymous said...

I second Will here... let the feds run it, they will do a more consistent and professional job of keeping the place up. If Durbin could pull that off, I might be tempted to vote for him next time around :)

If that doesn't work, isn't there some kind of national foundation or group devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright that could help?

Anonymous said...

Another idea: could someone design a Dana Thomas House tour for Second Life (the virtual reality online community)?

There are a number of real-world historic sites, museums, etc. that have Second Life counterparts, and some even accept donations (of real money) toward the upkeep of the real sites. I could see this being a great way to maintain interest in the site and hopefully get it reopened.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's reopened by March 28th, 2009. I will be in Springfield that weekend,and will be driving a considerable distance to go on a tour of the Lincoln sights, and had great hopes of touring the Wright home while there. So, how can we get it open by March 1st? Suggestions?