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Springfield historic sites get upgrades to parking, walkways

Upgrades are in progress for two of Springfield’s most beloved historic landmarks: the Lincoln Tomb and the Dana-Thomas House. Frequented by residents and tourists alike, the sites needed parking and other enhancements that will improve visitor access.

“We’re honored to play a role in maintaining safe and easy access to these historic gems,” said Secretary Omer Osman. “This work will help preserve these landmarks and the public’s ability to enjoy and learn from them for years to come. This is yet another example of the ways in which transportation projects help boost the economy, enhance safety and improve quality of life in communities throughout our great state.”

The planned improvements to the Lincoln Tomb include the removal and reconstruction of the concrete retaining wall and walkway from the parking lot to the receiving vault, along with new stairs. An ornamental railing will be added along the new wall and stairs. Parking lot drainage will also be upgraded. The Dana-Thomas House will get a parking lot upgrade with a new bus lane and drop-off connection between Lawrence Avenue and the existing parking lot.

Both historic sites will remain open during the work, though use of the sidewalks and parking lots may be limited at times. Parking for the Dana Thomas House will be temporarily moved to the corner of Fourth Street and Lawrence Avenue.

Funded through the Parks Roads Program, the total cost of the two projects is just over $1 million. The $6 million Parks Roads Program is funded annually for constructing, upgrading and maintaining park and historic site access and internal roads throughout the state. Projects are chosen and funds allocated through a collaboration between IDOT and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Both the Lincoln Tomb and the Dana-Thomas House are operated under IDNR’s Historic Preservation Division. 

The projects are expected to be completed in May. For more information on these sites, including locations, operating hours and how to book a reservation, please visit the websites for the Lincoln Tomb and the Dana-Thomas House.