Elijah Iles House ReOpens in April

March 24, 2021

The Elijah Iles House will open to the public on Saturday, April 24 from noon to 4 pm, and plans to be open for tours each Saturday in 2021. The house is pleased to offer a new exhibit:  "Art and furniture from the home of Phyllis Herndon Brissenden" (d. 2019), along with their regular house tours.  

The Elijah Iles House was built about 1837 and is Springfield’s oldest house. There is evidence that it was designed by the same architect who designed the Old State Capitol. It is one of Illinois’ earliest residences in the Greek Revival style of architecture. Two of Springfield’s most famous citizens, Abraham Lincoln and poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, are known to have visited the house. Lincoln spent time in the house as a guest of Robert Irwin and he enjoyed many a card game in the front parlor. Because of the house’s impressive architecture and rich history, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The house first stood on the southeast corner of Sixth and Cook streets facing west. Its back yard sloped down to a nearby creek, the Town Branch. The slope allowed for a walk-out lower level that contained a kitchen, dining room, servant quarters and storage space. In 1910, the upper wood frame portion of the house was cut in half and moved from that first site to 1825 South Fifth Street. The lower brick level was left behind and probably destroyed with the construction of the First Christian Church on the site.

For more information, you may contact via email at  IlesHouse1998@gmail.com   

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