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Mid-Century architecture in Bloomington

wesley unitedWhen: March 15, 6 - 7:30 pm
Where: Wesley United Methodist Church (east door), 502 E Front, Bloomington

FREE Event
Presentation by Todd Bugg

In this presentation, we explore the architecture of Bloomington-Normal during this Mid-Century period, beginning in 1950 to around 1975.

We discuss the changes that led to the design ethos of the time, and look at the public buildings -- churches, schools, and building -- which grew in one community in Mid-Century America.

Dana-Thomas House group tour

Dana Thomas House

dining roomOld house fans love the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and we have a fantastic example of his work just south of us in Springfield: the Dana-Thomas House (see below for more info). OHS has booked a group tour of this landmark for Saturday, April 21st at 11:15am. The tour lasts an hour and the suggested donation is $10 per person.

If you would like to join us on this tour, please email [email protected] so we may provide an accurate count of how many will be in attendance. We may be able to facilitate carpooling for those driving over, so if you would like to rideshare, please indicate your desire to do so in your reservation email and we will connect all interested parties.

The Dana-Thomas House is one of the most unique and lavish structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright during his early Prairie period. The home was built for Springfield socialite Susan Lawrence Dana. She was known for her hospitality, unforgettable parties and concerts as well as community, social and political involvement. Perhaps the most complete of all early Wright dwellings, it was never significantly altered and has over 100 pieces of original Wright-designed oak furniture, 250 examples of art glass light fixtures and lamps. The barrel-vaulted dining room and gallery/ballroom are two of the most photographed spaces in the history of American architecture. Connecting the main living quarters to the gallery and library is a sixty-foot long pergola hallway beneath which is a bowling lane, billiard room and walk-in vault.

There are many other historical sites in Springfield worth visiting, if you would like to make a full day of your visit. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Illinois State Museum, and Lincoln's Home are just a few of the sites that are certainly worth seeing if you're interested in learning more about Lincoln and the history of our state. If you have a membership to the McLean County Museum of History, the "Time Travelers" benefits of your membership provide discounts at several of these locations.

Photos courtesy of the Dana-Thomas Foundation

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Apply: OHS board member opening

Are you passionate about old buildings and want to be a part of celebrating and preserving their history in our community? Old House Society has an opening for a Board Member!

Old House Society's mission statement is to promote and preserve buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods more than 50 years old, and the communities and heritage they foster. We are looking for a dedicated person who can use their passion and skills to plan and execute agendas to help us achieve this mission statement.

OHS's Board Member Application can be accessed here. If you'd like more information or would like to speak with a current Board Member who can provide more detail on this role, please email [email protected] and we will get you connected.

Check out latest Warehouse additions


An ongoing, updated posting of photos of the newest items that have recently been added to our warehouse inventory can be found on our Facebook page. Click here to see photos of the latest items that have been salvaged by our warehouse crew or donated by generous patrons like you

Calling for Gift to Street nominations

If you are the proud owner of a home fifty years or older or know someone who is, consider nominating a home for the OHS Gift to the Street Award.

The Old House Society has been giving an award since 1989 to homeowners who have taken the time to lovingly preserve, maintain, or restore their own homes to their original architectural characteristics. To date, the award has been given to 68 such buildings.

These homeowners are given a beautiful commemorative plaque which identifies the year the structure was built. Homeowners can then affix the plaque to the exterior façade to proudly signify the home’s place in local architectural history.

A complete list of previous award winning homes, and the application to apply for the award, can be found on the Awards page of this website and the completed application can be dropped off or mailed to the Old House Society warehouse at 214 East Douglas Street, Bloomington, Il 61701.