Interior Design

A House That Made History: The Illinois Governors Mansion, Legacy of an Architectural Treasure

In an extraordinary restoration project, Michael S. Smith, interior designer for the Obama White House, recently redecorated the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in collaboration with First Lady MK Pritzker, utilizing the best of Illinois’s long tradition of fine craftsmanship to allow the mansion’s prodigious history, exceptional decorative arts, and superb art to shine.

This visually stunning volume not only celebrates the updating of the Italianate–Greek Revival Illinois Governor’s Mansion in Springfield but also tells the story of the house’s evolution since 1855, of the lives and times of the renowned personages who inhabited it, and of the illustrious visitors, including Abraham Lincoln and FDR. The rooms have been enhanced with sophisticated color palettes, gorgeous fabrics, wallpapers, and bespoke furniture. In celebration of Illinois, one hallway is covered in a striking corn-motif pattern; the Governor’s Dining Room is embellished with a charming folk-style mural; and the chic Chicago Room was created, featuring Frances Elkins’s canopied beds and a Samuel Marx secretary cabinet. This book is ideal for those who love architecture, antiques, and learning about the lives of prominent Americans.

About The Author

MK Pritzker has served as Illinois’s first lady since the inauguration of her husband, JB Pritzker, as governor in January 2019. She restored the mansion together with Michael S. Smith into a welcoming home with public spaces that preserve the history and culture of the people of Illinois. Michael S. Smith is considered one of the most original and respected talents in the design industry today. A longtime member of the AD100 and Elle Decor’s A-List, he has authored numerous books.

  • Publish Date: September 19, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: House & Home - Decorating & Furnishings
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12-3/4
  • Pages: 272
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7363-0


"Interior designer Michael S. Smith is not afraid to take on high-profile projects—he decorated the White House during the Obama presidency after all. For his latest grand project, the designer collaborated with First Lady MK Pritzker to revitalize the interiors of the famed Illinois Governor’s Mansion. A House That Made History offers an exclusive look into the entire restoration process and the home's fabled history." —VERANDA

"The first lady’s coffee table book is a luxurious 272-page compendium of the mansion’s lore, family life, famous visitors, furnishings, architectural history, tall tales, good vibes, bad plumbing and scary moments during the tenure of 43 gubernatorial administrations since it was built in 1855." ~CHICAGO SUN TIMES

Author Bookshelf: Michael S. Smith