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Vachel Lindsay Home603 S. 5th Street
If you look directly across Edwards Street from the Executive Mansion you will see the lifelong residence of poet Vachel Lindsay, remembered locally for "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight", which describes Lincoln's mystical return to his old neighborhood.
Visitors cannot help but wonder if this brooding poem arose from Lindsay's own architectural connection with Lincoln history. Built in 1846, Lindsay's home was originally owned by Mr. and Mrs. Clark M. Smith, Mary Lincoln's sister and brother-in-law.
If you have toured the Lincoln home, you will notice many architectural similarities because both houses were built by the same designer-builder. Lincoln attended parties here in his honor, including a gala reception held before his inauguration.
The Lindsay house reopened to the public on November 11, 2001, after a five-year renovation project which cost more than one million dollars. It has been restored to its 1917 appearance, when Vachel and his parents lived in it. The house is now owned by the State of Illinois and welcomes visitors by appointment only. Call 217/782-6776 for information.
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Vachel Lindsay Home (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency)
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