The Allerton Mansion Opens Its Doors to the Public


For over 60 years visitors have only had access to the outside of the Allerton Mansion in Monticello. They could walk the gardens or hike the trails, but could never go in. Now, starting this Sunday, the public will have access to the inside of the building.

"It's such a large house that people are just amazed by it and really very curious," said the mansion's sales and marketing coordinator, Matt Smith.

At 32,000 square feet, why wouldn't they be?

"We have had an enormous outreach of the public letting us know that they'd like to come into the mansion," said Jordan Gifford, one of the mansions supervisors.

In 1946, Robert Allerton, donated his eight-and-a-half-square-mile estate to the University of Illinois. Many have enjoyed Allerton Park since then, but the inside has been reserved for retreats or special events.

"We're opening the doors the public. And they can take guided tours of all the first floor and the second and third floor guestrooms," said Gifford.

Smith says the reason could be new management.

"I think it's a change in leadership and a lot of new employees that are out here that kind of see this estate as just this gem that's been here a long time but really underutilized."

With 1,500 acres of land, four guest houses, and 39 bedrooms total, there's more than enough space for anyone to come and enjoy all that Allerton has to offer. Tours kick off this Sunday. The first will begin at noon. The rest will be at the top of every hour with the last being at 4pm. There is no pre-registration required. You just show up. It's $5 a person.

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