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Ursuline Academy
1400 N. 5th St., Springfield (Sangamon County)

 
 

 

This Civil War-era girls’ school was established by an order of nuns that abandoned monastic life in favor of public service. The original 1867 building, a three-story brick Italianate, was constructed by Raglan & Myers and housed both the convent and classrooms. Later additions of a chapel (1895) and music hall (1908) were designed by William Conway, Springfield’s first certified architect.

 

The music hall hosted poet Vachel Lindsay and the Von Trapp children, along with 150 years of graduating classes. The property was purchased by Lisle’s Benedictine University in 2003 to serve as a satellite campus. Four years later, Benedictine closed the academy with little notice and vacated the three historic buildings. Plans have been drafted for a new college facility, and the president has not ruled out demolition of existing structures.

 
     
 

  HOW CAN I HELP?

 

To assist the Ursuline alumni group in its local advocacy efforts, contact 1400northfifth@gmail.com. To encourage the preservation and reuse of the historic Main Building, Ursula Hall and Chapel in the university’s future expansion plans, please send letters of support to:

 

 
 

Dr. William Carroll
President
Benedictine University
Scholl Hall
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532

The Honorable Timothy J. Davlin
Mayor of Springfield
800 E. Monroe, Rm. 300
Springfield, IL 62701

www.springfield.il.us/mayor

 
     

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landmarks Illinois
Suite 1315
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112

 

 

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tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1971 and is the state's leading voice for historic preservation.