May 2006

While visiting Tom's son Alan and his family Marcie, Sidney and Sam in Champaign, we took a little day trip. Allerton Park is a park and conference center owned by the University of Illinois. It is located just outside of Monticello, Illinois, and consists of 1,500 acres of formal gardens, nature areas, and a manor house. I visited the park a few decades ago with my brother and have vivid memories of the place as it was then. As amazing as it still is, there were a few features from my memory that are no longer there. Some of the extensive formal gardens were largely taken over by a huge patch of peonies, which are pretty, but uninteresting. The garden wall used to have a walkway on top so you could look down on the gardens. This is no longer available (much of it still exists, but it is not accessible).



Tom and Al

Fu dog alley from the top of the gazebo

Hiking trail

Almost made it...

but not quite.

One of the things I really wanted to see again were these two odd bronze statues. They used to be set up at unexpected turns in the wooded trails. As we were leaving we asked one of the groundskeepers about them and he told us where to find them. They are in temporary storage out of sight behind the maintenance buildings. I figured they were removed because they are weird and somewhat non-p.c. But in fact they were displayed for some time in the Krannert Center at the University and will soon be sent to Washington, DC, for a sculpture exhibition.