Volunteers sought to welcome visitors

Volunteers sought to welcome visitors

SPRINGFIELD (Feb. 8, 2018) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Executive Mansion Association will a voluntary information session at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield for anyone interested in welcoming guests and providing interpretive information at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield.

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

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

Volunteers will play an important role in sharing the educational experience of the 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 mansion. Docents will assist historic site interpreters with guided tours and with the operation of the new visitor center.

Complimentary parking for the informational session will be available in the underground garage. Regular training sessions will begin in February.

Registration is required for the information session. To register, contact Margo Carlen at (217) 558-8899 or margo.carlen@illinois.gov.