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Visitors Guide to the
Gardner Museum
of Architecture and Design

332 Maine Street
Quincy, Illinois
217-224-6873

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Nearby Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Illinois Historic Site Accessible Cultural Exhibits Accessible Gift Shop Accessible Restrooms


 
The Memorial Sculpture Garden extended the museum’s exhibits to the outdoors. The garden contains a variety of architectural sculpture pieces and stone artifacts rescued from demolished area buildings and give visitors a glimpse into Quincy’s architectural past while the granite benches provide a space for quiet reflective time. This section of the museum can still be visited.

Originally constructed in 1888 as the Free Public Library, this beautiful stone Richardson Romanesque was built by the Chicago architectural firm of Patton & Fisher and built with limestone supplied by the Frederick W. Menke Stone Works of Quincy. The Gardner Museum is two-story structure with a circular corner tower that rises to three stories and overlooks Washington Park. The building features massive masonry walls of rough-cut or rusticated stones, rounded arches, towers, and slate roofs that characterize Romanesque Revival buildings. Ornamental iron railings and supports are intact at the entrance. The interior features butternut woodwork throughout and a handsome staircase with an ornately carved baluster. The 1929 utilitarian stucco addition was designed by Quincy architect Ernest M. Wood who was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design is a contributing historic structure of the Downtown Quincy Historic District that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The Quincy Public Library occupied the building until 1974 when it relocated to a newer facility and Quincy philanthropist John Willis Gardner bought the property. Gardner had two goals he wanted to accomplish when he bought the property. First he preserved an important piece of Quincy's history that might otherwise have been torn down. More importantly he founded the Gardner Museum of Architecture & Design whose mission is increase awareness and appreciation of the architectural and design heritage of Quincy, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the United States while exploring influence and impact of national events on its development. After a remodeling project of the interior was completed the museum opened in 1977. The only permanent exhibit the museum hosts is "Aspirations in Glass," an exhibit of stained glass windows saved from demolished churches, located in the large former library reading room on the second floor. The museum hosts a number of annual exhibits, one of which is always centered around an area architect and another that looks at the architectural elements of a certain style, period, or culture. Click on the link at the bottom of the page if you are interested in finding out what exhibits the museum is currently showing.

The museum also is home to an architectural and historical library. The library is non-circulating, but interested parties are welcome to use the extensive collection of architectural books and books on Quincy History during regular office hours. The first Saturday of each month from May to October the museum hosts a walking tour of a Quincy neighborhood. Except for the May tour, all tours take place from 10 am until noon, cost a minimal charge, and last between 1 and 2 hours. Reservations are not needed. Each November 1st the Gardner Museum staff and volunteers host lantern tours of Woodland Cemetery with local actors portraying the lives of past Quincy inhabitants. Reservations are required for this tour. The Gardner Museum has numerous brochures on hand for visitors to come and pick up. These brochures are specifically designed as self-guided walking tours and cover many historical areas in the Quincy area. The cost is $1 per brochure and are available at the Gift Shop, which also sells gift items, souvenirs and books. The newly completed Memorial Sculpture Garden extends the museum’s exhibits to the outdoors. The garden contains a variety of architectural sculpture pieces and stone artifacts rescued from demolished area buildings and give visitors a glimpse into Quincy’s architectural past while the granite benches provide a space for quiet reflective time.

Visiting the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design
     Visiting Hours
          The Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design is open from early March through December
              
Wednesday - Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm
              
Group tours are available by appointment
          The Library and office are open year round by appointment, Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm

Admission: $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 10 and under.  Admission is free for museum members


Location: The Gardner Museum of Architecture & Design is located at 332 Maine Street just east of the Gardner Expressway in the Quincy downtown riverfront area.

Learn more about the Quincy area.


www.gardnermuseumarchitecture.org - Official site of the Gardner Museum of Architecture & Design

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