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Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices

Note: Site is currently closed for renovations.

The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices are within the only remaining building in which Abraham Lincoln maintained a law office. The site consists of the surviving portion of a three-story brick commercial block constructed in 1840-41. Exterior details reflect the then-popular Greek Revival architectural style. Though designed as a commercial structure, portions of the building were rented for offices and other purposes. Lincoln practiced law in the building from 1843 to about 1852. During his 1847-1849 tenure as a United States Congressman, partner William H. Herndon (1818-1891) maintained the practice. In 1978 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Central Springfield Historic District.

The “restored” building’s first floor visitor center consists of an exhibit gallery and audiovisual theater, along with a room interpreted as an 1840s post office facility. On the second floor are rooms representing those used by the federal court, and on the third floor a "common room" and three lawyers’ offices. Two of the offices were used by Lincoln and his partners, prominent local attorneys Herndon and Stephen T. Logan (1800-1880). The recreated offices are notable for the plainness and disorder that were remembered by Lincoln associates.

After viewing an orientation video, visitors receive a twenty-minute guided tour of the historic rooms. On Wednesdays during the summer months, a costumed interpreter portrays Lincoln’s law clerk. Exhibits in the visitor center provide information on Lincoln’s legal career and life on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. The building is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The Tinsley Dry Goods Store gift shop is contiguous to the Lincoln-Herndon building.

Visit the Old State Capitol Foundation webpage for additional information on the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office.