Site Visit: Springfield, Illinois

By Connect Staff, August 13, 2013

Springfield, Ill., is known for its most-celebrated resident, Abraham Lincoln. Meeting planners looking to add a bit of history—and Lincoln—to their events can choose from several of the city’s historical sites and museums.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is just a few blocks from the Prairie Capital Convention Center, which offers more than 60,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space. The more than 50,000-sq.-ft. complex documents the life of the nation’s 16th president with original artifacts, displays, exhibits and theater performances. Within the facility, areas for receptions, dinners and meetings are available. Planners can host a dinner or reception in the museum’s plaza, set against a backdrop of the White House and Lincoln’s boyhood cabin.

Out-of-the-ordinary settings can be found at the Illinois State Museum, Lincoln’s New Salem and the Edwards Place Home. At the museum, exhibits and artifacts devoted to Illinois’ natural, cultural and artistic heritage are on display.

Lincoln’s New Salem is a pioneer village on the Illinois prairie where the icon spent his early years in the state. The park includes restored log cabins, costumed re-enactors, gardens and walking paths. During summer months, guests can experience an evening performance at New Salem’s Theatre in the Park. The Edwards Place Home is a 19th-century mansion, which served as a center of they city’s early social and political life, and is the oldest home on its original foundation in the city. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln often visited the home, establishing a relationship with its owners. The house contains artifacts connected to the Lincolns, such as a black horsehair sofa from their courting days, as well as an art gallery. Tours are available weekly.

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