As we enter Autumn, and Illinois adapts to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois reopening, the staff at the Vrooman Mansion has taken careful consideration of all guidance set by national and statewide authorities.  Although local regulations have been slightly altered, we are constantly on the lookout for new developments and we do our best to keep our guests informed.  The safety of our patrons is of utmost importance.  We are confident in our leaders, and have taken a proactive approach to preventing the spread of Covid-19 by developing an effective cleaning protocol.  We also highly encourage the practice of social distancing and mask wearing at check-in, and during any guest to staff or guest to other guest interaction.  Currently, our breakfasts are served at separate tables outside on the side porch at staggered intervals when possible; weather permitting.  We also can serve inside in the various rooms on the first floor, at tables socially distanced at 6 ft.  All pertinent guidelines with regard to our business, including a capacity limit and safe setup of our special events are closely adhered to.  We keep the public health in mind with the facility and we’ve added conveniences for our guests’ safety throughout the home.  This includes: signage, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, no physical contact at check-in as well as use of masks by all staff during guest interaction and frequent hand washing.  Our guest rooms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each check-out, and we monitor and ensure the safety and health of all staff.  It is a statewide team effort to reach the next and final phase of reopening, and we welcome your visit to the Vrooman Mansion for all travel and event plans.

 

 

Relax and appreciate the history…

Built in 1869, the Vrooman Mansion was originally a 17-room red brick Italianate-style home designed by G.W. Bunting. By 1900, the home had undergone extensive remodeling, virtually doubling its size, but the redesign eradicated nearly every vestige of the original Italianate home. Restyling the mansion to its present form, famed architect Arthur Pillsbury created what is considered now to be a conservative interpretation of Romanesque style. Every effort has been made to retain the mansion’s authentic décor and ambiance.

The Vrooman Mansion offers visitors its quiet “old world” charm and elegance. The luxurious common areas are always popular with guests, who enjoy relaxing in the parlor with a glass of wine or perusing the library’s assortment of historic books and references. Those who explore the main foyer will discover an inglenook next to the fireplace, perfect for some solitude as you let yourself be transported back in time.

Look back in time…

Below in the gallery are some current photos, as well as photos of the common areas as they appeared when Julia Scott-Vrooman lived in the home. As you can see, the mansion today is a direct reflection of the luxury of that bygone era.

Beige papered walls, wood floors, ornamental rug, two side chairs flanking a fireplace and an elaborate dark wood staircase

The Foyer

Eight-foot-tall stained glass windows will greet you upon your arrival to the grand two-story English-style foyer complete with an inglenook. Guests of years gone by may have sat in the inglenook observing the family crests above the fireplace as they warmed their feet by the fire and waited for Mrs. Scott to make her grand entrance down the staircase. The entryway ceiling is beamed and the walls are oak paneled with carved ornamentation. The dark weathered oak finish was popular at the turn of the last century.

Beige room with wood floors, dark stained trim, lace curtains, a shiny wood grand piano, acoustic guitar and lit candlesticks

The Music Room

This room is part of the 1869 house and was most likely the original dining room. The woodwork in the room is a light curly birch. Hidden within the north and south walls are massive pocket doors made of different types of wood: the north door is curly birch and weathered oak, and the south door is curly birch and mahogany. These differing materials create smooth transitions into the adjacent rooms. Enjoy the music of the baby grand player piano or share your musical talents with us.

Red and gold ornate papered walls, hardwood floors with ornamental rug, and fireplace flanked by glass door covered bookcases

The Library

The library, which is hall-like in its design, has cherry paneling and mahogany book cabinets with leaded glass doors along the east wall. The wallpaper in the library is similar to the design that was here years ago. The large mirror over the fireplace greets guests coming in the side entrance. Above the windows, stained glass echoes the cabinet glass design. Burnished brass sconces glow with warm yellow light in the evenings.

Blue papered walls, fireplace with candlesticks on the mantel and small heavy door leading to a safe room

The Safe Room

An integral part of the Vrooman Mansion’s history is this noteworthy safe room and study, which served as Julia Scott’s office after her husband Matthew’s death. Julia Scott was a straightforward businesswoman and the built-in safe bears her name in gold lettering, signifying her financial independence in an era long before women could even vote. The wood in the study is beautifully hand-finished. Julia Scott’s daughter, Julia Vrooman, was born in this room and died in here in 1981 at the age of 104.

Elegant victorian room with papered walls, lace curtains, red velvet furniture, ornamental rug, and brass fixtures

The Parlor

One of the most notable focal points in the parlor are the combination gas-electric wall sconces. Because electric lighting was new and unreliable when the house was enlarged in 1900, both light sources were used in the home. The lightbulb was considered beautiful and was often not covered; the fixture seen here uses authentic 1904 bulbs. The wallpaper is similar to that depicted in old photographs of the room, and an ornate fireplace — one of eleven in the home — enhances the south wall. This airy room with restored hand painted ceiling is often used for wedding ceremonies and other special events; the bay window is the perfect backdrop for a ceremony.

Elegant dining room with red velvet chairs, lace covered window and elaborate brick fireplace

The Dining Room

Enjoy a gourmet plated breakfast at the home’s original hand-carved dining table, where dignitaries such as Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, poet Vachel Lindsay, and lawyer/politician William Jennings Bryan dined with the Scott and Vrooman families. The oak panels in the dining room have a dark Venetian stain, and an opalescent dome brass light fixture shines at the heart of the beamed ceiling. Hand roundels are built into the sideboard, and the family crests can be seen in the room’s stained glass design.

In the butler’s pantry, visitors can see the original copper sink, food prep area, and holding zone. Servants would be stationed in this small space, waiting to serve the next course to the constant stream of guests from across the country.

Photo Gallery