House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Magic of Allerton

We have been taking our kiddos to Allerton Park and Retreat Center for years. We pass through the gates and leave our busy schedules behind. No laundry, no practices, no homework and best of all- no dirty dishes!


We each have our own favorite spot in the park. The kiddos love the statues- especially the Sun Singer.  (AKA, Mr. Fanny Man)
But me? I swoon a thousand swoons over the Allerton Mansion.


After 20 years of stalking swooning, the Allerton staff was so kind to grant me a tour.

Oh, the books I could read here!

 The details, the fixtures, the windows, the french doors, the art, and the many staircases are overwhelmingly beautiful and perfectly maintained.
The mansion is not a museum. It is available for conferences, weddings, family gatherings and special events. 
The bedrooms are huge with private bathrooms and gorgeous views.
 Walking through the mansion, I felt like I had taken a step back in time. 
 Even though the mansion has been updated, it has maintained the integrity of it's bones. 
So many of the original details have been maintained, like the detailing on the marble vanity.
 Each corridor led to another...and another.



In the dining hall, I couldn't help but think, "If these walls could talk" when I saw this window. It used to be an entrance to the carriage house.
 Each chandelier is more beautiful than the last.
The Allerton mansion has been home to many weddings. 

Photographer Mark Romine has captured countless wedding images at the Allerton mansion.



The mansion was everything I dreamed it would be. 
After my tour, I spent the entire drive home dreaming up events to plan at Allerton. Family reunions, girl's weekends away, conferences, and someday, one of my own children's weddings. 

For more information about Allerton, click HERE.

"Allerton Park was built as the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton. Named “The Farms,” the estate was the center of the 12,000-acre Illinois agricultural enterprise assembled during the late 1800s by Robert’s father Samuel. The family wealth extended well beyond Illinois as Samuel Allerton amassed more than 80,000 acres of farmland across the Midwest. The elder Allerton was a founding principal of the First National Bank of Chicago, and held prominent leadership positions in five major stockyards, including the Union Stockyards of Chicago.
Although he oversaw his father’s interests in the Central Illinois farms, Robert Allerton’s passion was art. Educated in Europe, he travelled extensively in winter, and became an avid art collector, philanthropist and artist who viewed the landscape as his canvas. Allerton believed that through nature, art could surround and embrace every human. This belief in the artistic power of nature led to his lifelong commitment to stewardship of the land and its natural elements. With the help of John Gregg, his protégé and, later, adopted son, Robert spent decades shaping the Illinois farmland to create ever-evolving landscapes that captured the natural beauty of the woodland and prairie, and formal gardens which served as an outdoor gallery for the sculpture he collected during his travels around the world."

18 comments:

  1. Allerton Park and Retreat Center
    This winter Allerton Park and Retreat Center is opening the doors to overnight guests each Friday and Saturday from December to March. But that is not all, we are also going to be hosting a variety of themed overnight weekends featuring dinner and original entertainment. For those of you that want to get a jump on your Valentines plans we will again be hosting a romantic Valentines Day weekend. For more information visit www.allerton.illinois.edu or cal 217-333-3287. — atAllerton Park and Retreat Center.

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    1. That sounds great! Thank you so much for having me!

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  2. Why can you not live here? Your fam is big enough.

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    1. You can live there with us! You and I can spend our days in the library- we will read and write our little hearts out!

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  3. I'm not sure why, but the scene with gorgeous bride and the many plastic, resin chairs just cracks me up. Such a classy place then there are these rows of crappy chairs. The place is outstanding and i would LOVE to get married there. I love that it's not just a museumy place but you can actually rent rooms there.

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    1. I just recently found out that rooms are available to the public! When I win the lottery, I am going to rent the entire mansion for a month! It could happen, yo'.

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  4. My folks met at Allerton Park, 59 years ago! They still enjoy visiting there when they are back in Central Illinois! As a child we spent many wkends out there and I never got to see the inside of the mansion! Thanks for sharing the pictures! Didn't one of the Illinois coaches take his team out there the night before a game to get them out of the limelight? Seems to me I have heard that a couple of times!

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    1. WOW! That is a great story! So many great family memories happen at Allerton, huh? My husband is a sports writer- I'll ask him about the team visit to Allerton.

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    2. Story confirmed! I spoke to long time sports writer Loren Tate. He reports that the Illinois team stayed at Allerton before games for years. He thinks that the Illinois team that beat Michigan in 1936 stayed there the night before!

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  5. What pure gorgeousness. Wow. And your pics are fabulous.

    Annnnnd Mr. Fanny Man kinda make me giggle like a jr. high girl. =)

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    1. My kids can't wait to get to the Sun Singer on our hikes. Laughing at his fanny never seems to get old! Thanks, Carrie!

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  6. God DAMMIT, Kerri, your pictures are so pretty!

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    1. Don't you take a tone with me, Jenn! Allerton makes it easy to get good shots! Thank you!

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  7. This was such a gorgeous tour and so interesting. This is my favorite stalk yet.

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    1. Allerton is magical! I am packing my bags to move there ASAP!

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  8. Kerri..you probably drove right by my house..and you didn't even stop! We live just down the road from Allerton. a real comuunity treasure. Next time stop in for tea..or something ;)

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    1. Be careful what you ask for! Have coffee, will travel! Allerton is a community treasure!

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