Robert Allerton Park

Robert Allerton Park

The Robert Allerton Park is a 1,517 acre (6.0 km²) park, nature center, and conference center located near Monticello, Illinois on the upper Sangamon River. The park and manor house were laid out and built by industrialist Robert Allerton, who gave the complex to the University of Illinois in 1946. The "Allerton Natural Area" within the park is a National Natural Landmark. As of 2007, the park was used by approximately 100,000 visitors per year.

North half

The section of the park north of the winding Sangamon River includes Allerton's 40-room stately home, "The Farms" (1900), a 1/4-mile-long (0.4 km) formal garden, and a 1 1/4-mile-long (2 km) sculpture walk extending westward from the end of the formal garden. The sculpture walk concludes with "The Sun Singer", an Art Moderne bronze sculpted by Carl Milles in 1929, one of more than 100 sculptures on the grounds. "The Sun Singer" underwent a $39,000 restoration in June-July 2007 to remove vandal graffiti and restore the patina of the convert|16|ft|m|0, convert|2300|lb|kg st|abbr=on sculpture. [The News-Gazette (Champaign, Illinois). [ Sun Singer sculpture removed for restoration] . June 16, 2007.] [Herald & Review (Decatur, Illinois). [ Allerton Park's Sun Singer statue returns to pedestal following restoration] July 28, 2007.]

outh half

The section of the park south of the Sangamon River was left almost entirely unlandscaped during the Allerton era. It now contains a network of nature trails sloping down from parking areas toward the Sangamon River. Several of the trails are punctuated with signs describing the floodplain river ecology of central Illinois. The southern section also contains a 55 acre (0.2 km²) restored prairie, one of the oldest prairie restorations in Illinois, begun in 1955 and now approaching maturity. The southern section of the park and adjacent Sangamon River bottomland, a parcel of 1,000 acres (4.0 km²), was designated as the "Allerton Natural Area", a U.S. National Natural Landmark, in 1971.

Robert Allerton

Robert Allerton (1873-1964) was the heir to a Chicago banking and stockyard fortune created by his father, Samuel Allerton (1828-1914), one of the founders of Chicago's Union Stock Yards. Robert Allerton and his partner, John Gregg Allerton (1899-1986), transformed their country house, "The Farms", into a central Illinois showplace, with activity climaxing in the 1920s and early 1930s. After the Great Depression, World War II, and U.S. federal income taxes made it more difficult to staff and operate stately homes like "The Farms", the Allertons moved to Kaua'i, Hawaii, in 1946. Their gardens in Hawaii are now open to the public as Allerton Garden.


External links

* [ Robert Allerton Park]
* [ Pictures From Allerton Park]

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