The Lincoln Home

Daniel Schwen photo via Wikimedia.

President’s Day seems a good day to talk about the Lincoln Home in Springfield, IL, a National Historic Landmark. Like a number of our presidents, Abraham Lincoln came from a humble background and achieved success through education and hard work. However, he never was a wealthy man and his home as it stands today represents a typical solid middle-class home of the mid-19th century.

When the Lincolns bought the house, it was a one-and-a-half story Greek Revival cottage built in 1839. With a growing family and increased income, they expanded the house with a full second story in the mid-1850s. The addition retained the Greek Revival corner block window trim of the original house but gained up-to-date Italianate style brackets and deep eaves.

Many historic houses have experienced additions and stylistic updates during their history. Depending on how and when they were done, they can be as historically or architecturally significant as the original design and material. How to determine when later alterations may have achieved significance is covered in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

The 720-page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers.

Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the auth in the shop on this page, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Your local bookstore can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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