Davis, Garcia Introduce Lincoln Site Expansion Bill

By Benjamin Cox on June 14, 2021 at 7:18pm

A bi-partisan bill in Congress is hoping to expand the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield to include improvements and two new buildings.

13th District Republican Congressman Rodney Davis and 4th District Democrat Congressman Chuy Garcia introduced House Bill 3818 on Friday that would expand the Lincoln Home site to include a replica 1844 Lincoln cottage and the historic 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 Street in Springfield to provide greater accessibility within the existing Lincoln Home site.

The Davis-Garcia bill is a companion bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin last month. 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood is also a co-sponsor of the bill. Davis says its a way to preserve the site for future generations and make it more accessible to the community.

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 site.

The 1837 Iles Home 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 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 houses an extensive collection of pre-Civil War furniture and the Farrell and Ann Gay Museum of Springfield History.