Volunteers Sought to Welcome Visitors to the Illinois Executive Mansion

Ed Cross
Volunteers Sought to Welcome Visitors to the Illinois Executive Mansion
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Executive Mansion Association will host a series of volunteer information sessions for persons interested in welcoming guests and providing interpretive information at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield.

The Illinois Executive Mansion is undergoing a complete restoration, funded entirely through private donations, and will open during the summer of 2018. Constructed between 1853 and 1855, it is the third oldest continuously occupied governor’s mansion in the United States and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Throughout its rich history, the Illinois Executive Mansion has counted among its visitors several U.S. presidents, ambassadors and most importantly, generations of Illinois families.

A committee comprised of museum professionals, historians, interpreters, educators and creative consultants is working to develop a new, multi-layered visitors’ experience that will make the Mansion more accessible to guests.

The enhanced visitors experience is intended to instill a sense of leadership, perseverance and civic pride. Rooms have been set aside that explore the Columbian Exposition, Governors during the Civil War, and children of the era. Stories that educate and inspire will bring the history of the Illinois Executive Mansion to life.

Volunteers will play an important role in sharing the educational experience of the Illinois Executive Mansion with those who visit.

Individuals are being recruited to serve as volunteer greeters and docents. Greeters will help welcome guests, provide tourism information, and support the goal of hospitality at the Executive Mansion. Docents will assist historic site interpreters with guided tours and with the operation of the new visitor center.

Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a Mansion volunteer can attend an informational session at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Sessions are being held January 25 at 1:00 p.m., January 28 at 1:00 p.m., and February 10 at 1:00 p.m. Complimentary parking will be available in the underground garage.

Regular training sessions for volunteers will also begin in February. 

Registration is required for the information sessions.  Individuals can register by calling or e-mailing Margo Carlen at 217-558-8899 or margo.carlen@illinois.gov.
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