Inside Allerton

The Essential Guide to Robert Allerton Park

Written and Photographed by David L. Finnigan

Inside Allerton

Step inside the world of Robert Allerton Park in central Illinois and discover the rich history and surprising stories of the stately home, formal gardens, and woodland trails that make up this national natural landmark.

About This Book

Named one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois, Robert Allerton Park is visited by nearly 100,000 people annually. Allerton, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist and art collector, donated his palatial country estate to the University of Illinois in 1946 with the intent that it should be maintained as a wildlife preserve and an example of landscape gardening. Today Robert Allerton Park is a National Natural Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places..

Take a tour of the home and gardens, led by architecture graduate student David L. Finnigan. Beautiful color photography and original architect's drawings bring the history of Allerton Park to life. Dozens of archival photographs, 21 in color, have all been painstakingly restored especially for this book, many never before published.

This extensively researched book begins with the story of the Allerton family, from origins as Mayflower pilgrims to Samuel Allerton's fortunes in the Chicago banking and stockyard industry. Follow the path of young Robert Allerton, Samuel's only son, as he travels to Europe for art school, becomes a patron of the Art Institute of Chicago, and develops his Piatt County estate into an "oasis on the prairie" with formal gardens and statuary. The story concludes with the changes to the Park since 1946 when the University of Illinois acquired the property. Beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated, Inside Allerton stands as a definitive record of this unique destination in central Illinois.

About the Author

David L. Finnigan graduated in 2012 from Eastern Illinois University where he studied industrial technology. At EIU he was invited to give a lecture on architecture as part of a symposium on ancient Egyptian culture in 2011, and again for ancient Greece in 2012. After working at Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield, he is now enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at Southern Illinois University. Mr. Finnigan enjoys nature hikes, film photography, travel abroad, and history. Inside Allerton is his second book.

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Inside Allerton Cover
  • Publication Date: May 24, 2017
  • Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
  • Category: Architecture - Historic Preservation / Travel - United States - Illinois
  • Trim Size: 8-1/2 x 11
  • ISBN: 978-0-692-86740-2
  • LCCN: 2017-938040
  • Illustrations: 245 color and b/w photographs
  • US Price: $34.99
  • Publisher: G.S. Brenac
Inside Allerton Interior Spread 1 Inside Allerton Interior Spread 2

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