The Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site is decking the halls with new decorations and spreading holiday cheer with music, poetry, children's activities and even a holiday-themed writing workshop.
In keeping with architect Frank Lloyd Wright's artistic vision, the Dana-Thomas House is being decorated with floral designs featuring native plants and flowers in warm earth tones. Volunteers with the Springfield Civic Garden Club are designing arrangements throughout the historic site using more than 2o different prairie plants, including magnolia, sumac, and curly willow, all presented in Wright-designed vases. The expertly designed floral arrangements are available for sale through the Sumac Shop, where proceeds will be directed toward site programs.
Area youth can help decorate Christmas trees the library of the historic home by participating in LEGO ornament workshops on Dec. 8 and 15 with Kyle Blais, Iles School LEGO League Coach.
The holiday season kicks off Dec. 6 with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 each. The evening event will include music, delicious food and beverages.
Then things really get going on Dec. 7 with a poetry reading in the afternoon and extended hours with tours in the evening. The Dana-Thomas House will be open more evenings this holiday season than in years past: Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 22.
During the evenings of Dec. 7 and 14, samples of holiday treats from Mrs. Dana's recipe book will be available for tasting, expertly prepared by the Lincoln Land Culinary Arts program and Slow Food Springfield.
The Sumac Shop is selling jars of "Mother Lawrence's Blackberry Preserves" this holiday season. Mary Agnes Lawrence, mother of Susan Lawrence Dana, won praise from Frank Lloyd Wright for her cooking, particularly her blackberry preserves." Proceeds will fund the garden projects of the University of Illinois' Master Gardeners at the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site.
Here's the full schedule of events:
• Dec. 6: Dana-Thomas Home Foundation Holiday Reception. $30 per person. 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Dec. 7: Midwest Poetry and Prose reading, in partnership with Quiddity at Benedictine University, featuring Sandy Longhorn, winner of the 2005 Anhinga Prize for Poetry. 3:30-4:30 p.m.
• Dec. 7: Holiday extended hours with evening tours. Tasty treats, using Susan Dana's own recipes and prepared in partnership with Lincoln Land Community College Culinary Arts Baking and Pastry program and Slow Food Springfield, will be given away in the Kitchen. 5-8:00 p.m.
• Dec. 8: Free Children's LEGO Workshop with Kyle Blais, Iles School LEGO League Coach. 1-1:45 p.m.
• Dec. 8: Writing Workshop with Ted Morrissey, sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Association: "Facing Fear in Your Fiction." 2-4 p.m.
• Dec. 13: Wright Concepts Specialty Tour. $20 suggested donation per person. 10 a.m. to noon.
• Dec. 13: Kevin Purcell performs A Child's Christmas in Wales. 2-3 p.m.
• Dec. 14: Holiday extended hours with evening tours. Tasty treats will be given away in the Kitchen. 5-8 p.m.
• Dec. 15: Free Children's LEGO Workshop with Kyle Blais, Iles School LEGO League Coach. 1-1:45 p.m.
• Dec. 15: Writing Workshop with Megan Cass, sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Association: "Bad Fruitcake, Burnt Turkey, Good Stories: Writing the Holidays." 2-4 p.m.
• Dec. 21: Extended hours with evening tours and luminaria. 5-8 p.m.
• Dec. 22: Extended hours with evening tours and luminaria. 5-8 p.m.
The Dana-Thomas House was built between 1902 and 1904. It is perhaps the best-preserved of Wright's "Prairie Style" homes, with more than 400 pieces of specially made art-glass and original furnishings. The house, located at Fourth and Lawrence Streets in Springfield, is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It is open Wednesday through Sunday for public tours.
For more information, visit www.dana-thomas.org.