WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), today reintroduced the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act, legislation that would expand the boundary of the Lincoln Home National Historic site to include a replica 1844 Lincoln cottage and the Elijah Iles home. The bill would also require the National Park Service to increase the height of the road in front of the Lincoln home and at the intersection of 8th and Jackson to provide greater accessibility within the existing Lincoln Home site.
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“Abraham Lincoln is a central figure in Springfield’s rich history. We should preserve the Lincoln Home National Historic site to ensure that future generations can learn about his presidential legacy. With this legislation, Illinoisans and tourists can appreciate our state’s history while visiting the Elijah Iles House and the replica Lincoln cottage,” said Durbin.
The Abraham Lincoln Association is in the process of raising funds to create a replica of the Lincoln Home in Springfield, as it existed from 1844 to 1856, when the Lincoln family first moved in. In 1856, the Lincolns expanded the original six-room cottage into the twelve-room home that is now the centerpiece of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The replica cottage will show what life was like for the Lincoln family the first 12 years in Springfield.
Built in 1837, the Elijah Iles House, built by Iles himself, is the oldest structure in Springfield. Iles was one of the founders of the city of Springfield and a friend and supporter of Lincoln. Iles also played an important role in helping Lincoln secure the state capital's move from Vandalia to Springfield.
In 1977, the Elijah Iles House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historic significance. The timber framed Greek Revival cottage was restored in 2005 and has since been open to the public. The home contains an extensive collection of pre-Civil War furniture and the Farrell and Ann Gay Museum of Springfield History.
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