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Lawrence Education Center

101 East Laurel
Springfield, IL 62704

History of Dana-Thomas House/Lawrence Education Center Library Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

April 15, 2010

Chuck Williams, Volunteer at the Dana-Thomas House presented a workshop to the Lawrence Education Center students. The workshop explained the history and the connection of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright to the Dana-Thomas House and the Lawrence Education Center Memorial Library. Susan Dana decided to expand her home and hired Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1902 construction began, which included three musicians’ balconies, a grand front door entrance, and many geometric, sumac, and butterfly designs. The redesigned house provided large spaces for dinner parties and social events.

Susan Dana also asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a library for the new school (Lawrence School) which was named after her father Rheuna Lawrence. This school is presently known as Lawrence Education Center. Frank Lloyd Wright agreed to design the library and it is one of only 10 times in his entire career that he designed only the interior room of a structure. The library was dedicated in 1910.

In 1930, the Lawrence School need more classroom space and the library was dismantled. In later years the Lawrence Education Center put the Lawrence Library back into use. The library was filled with reproductions of tables and chairs that were meant for actual use by the students. The Dana - Thomas house holds the original tables and chairs.