Touring Mr. Lincoln's House: Ways & Means

By The Old House Web

At the park's center stands the two-story home of Abraham Lincoln, the only home heever owned. The home was constructed in 1839 as a one story cottage and the Lincolns livedin the house from 1844 until his election to the Presidency in 1861. The home, which hasbeen restored to its 1860s appearance, reveals Lincoln as husband, father, politician, andPresident-elect. It stands in the midst of a four-block historic neighborhood which theNational Park Service is restoring so that the neighborhood, like the house, will appearmuch as Lincoln would have remembered it.

Highest April through August
Lowest November through February

Lincoln Home National Historic Site
413 South Eighth Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1905

(217) 492-4241, ext. 221 for the Visitor Center

The Lincoln Home Visitor Center, located at 426 South Seventh St., is open from 8:30 a.m.to 5 p.m. daily with extended spring, summer and fall hours. Free, Ranger-conducted toursof the Lincoln Home occur daily with the last tour beginning one-half hour before closing.The Site is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas (December 25), and New Year's (January 1).

Temperatures can range from 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 95+ degrees in thesummer. High humidity is common during the summer months.

Interstate 55 provides north-south access to Springfield:
Visitors heading south on I-55 should use exit 98B at Clear Lake Avenue. Proceed westtoward downtown and turn left on Seventh St. The Visitor Center is located five blockssouth on the left side of Seventh Street. The visitor parking lot is past the VisitorCenter on the left.
Visitors traveling north on I-55 should use exit 92A at Sixth Street, which is BusinessI-55, and proceed about four miles north to downtown. Turn right on Capitol Avenue andright again on Seventh Street. The Visitor Center is located on the left side of SeventhStreet.
Interstate 72 provides east-west access to Springfield:
Visitors traveling west will exit onto Clear Lake Avenue, proceed west toward downtown andturn left on Seventh Street. The Visitor Center is located five blocks on the left side ofSeventh Street. Visitors traveling east should use exit 97B at Sixth Street (BusinessI-55) and proceed north toward downtown. Turn right on Capitol Avenue and right on SeventhStreet. The Visitor Center is located on the left side of Seventh Street.

There is no admission fee to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, but a FREE tourticket is required to tour the Lincoln Home. Tickets are distributed at the Visitor Centeron a first-come, first-served basis the day of the tour. Those who wish to tour the homeMUST first obtain a ticket. Each ticket indicates a specific tour time. Donations areencouraged at either the Visitor Center or the Lincoln Home donation box. Group tourreservations for groups larger than 15 are also free, but require reservations through theSpringfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. See information on Reservations/Permits below.

The visitor parking lot is concession-operated from April 1 through September 30. Parkingfees are $1.50 for the first hour and 50 cents for each additional half hour. Recreationalvehicles can be accommodated, but will be charged for the number of spaces they occupy.Parking in the lot from October 1 through March 31 is free of charge. Metered streetparking and parking garages are located nearby for a fee. There is no charge for parkingat meters on Saturdays and Sundays.

To tour the Lincoln Home, please make the Visitor Center, located at 426 South SeventhStreet, your first stop. FREE tour tickets for the Lincoln Home are available at theinformation desk. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and indicatea specific tour time. No reservations are taken in advance. We suggest arriving early inthe day to obtain tickets, as they are frequently gone by mid-afternoon during peakvisitation periods.

Visitor Center Exhibits:
The Visitor Center serves as a visitor service facility for the Site and the City ofSpringfield. At the information desk, National Park Service and Springfield Convention andVisitors Bureau staff provide information on Lincoln Home tours and programs, areahistoric sites and attractions, events, hotels, and restaurants. The lobby containsexhibits on nearby Lincoln-related historic sites, Lincoln sculptures, and temporaryexhibits and displays. Two orientation films (twenty minutes each) are shown continuouslythroughout the day in the theaters.

Dean House, Exhibits:
The exhibit, "What a Pleasant Home Abe Lincoln Has"; is located in the DeanHouse across Eighth Street from the Lincoln Home. This exhibit explores many differentaspects of the Lincoln family's life in Springfield. Admission is free and is toured on aself-guided basis.

Historic Neighborhood:
The National Park Service is restoring the four-block historic neighborhood to its 1860sappearance. Visitors can see the house exteriors by taking a self-guided neighborhoodwalk. Each house has a wayside sign describing the residents and neighbors of AbrahamLincoln in 1860. Park Rangers and costumed volunteers conduct occasional walking tours ofthe neighborhood during the summer.

Programs, Activities:
Lincoln Home tours are conducted daily. Additional interpretive programs and walks arepresented throughout the year. For up-to-date information, call the Visitor Center at(217) 492-4241, ext. 221.

Lodging and Camping Facilities:
There are no accommodations within the Site, but Springfield offers a wide variety ofhotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts. Camping facilities are available in nearby stateparks and private campgrounds. We advise that you reserve your accommodations in advance.Springfield is the State Capital and attracts numerous conventions and special eventsthroughout the year.

Food, Supplies:
Many local restaurants and stores are within walking distance of the park.

Other Concessions, NPS-Managed Visitor Facilities and Opportunities:
The not-for-profit Eastern National operates the Visitor Center bookstore. The storeoffers an extensive selection of books, videos, and prints with emphasis on AbrahamLincoln, the Civil War, and National Parks. Contact the bookstore at (217) 523-0222 forinformation.

The Visitor Center, Dean House, and first floor of the Lincoln Home are accessible towheelchairs. If you need assistance, please advise the staff at the Visitor Center whenyou obtain a Lincoln Home tour ticket. Wheelchairs are available for use within the Site.Accessible parking is available in the parking lot.

Special Needs:

  • a captioned film, available at the Visitor Center: "At Home with Mr. Lincoln," shows continuously
  • a book with photographs and text of a Lincoln Home tour
  • personal amplified listening devices on loan for all interpretive programs
  • braille map of the neighborhood and four-block Site map on loan
  • an artifact box containing a copy of a Lincoln life mask and hand mold, and samples of decorative materials used in the Lincoln Home

Individuals with special needs can call the park prior to their visit for specificinformation or requests.


  • view orientation films and exhibits at the Visitor Center
  • tour the Lincoln Home
  • visit the exhibit "What a Pleasant Home Abe Lincoln Has" at the Dean House
  • walk through the historic neighborhood
  • visit the bookstore

Plan one to two hours for a site visit.

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