In 1928, workers broke ground for the Ewing Manor in Bloomington, Illinois. A 90th anniversary celebration of the historic manor home will include a tour with secrets revealed, a photo exhibit, and a glimpse into the life of the extraordinary woman who lived there.
Free, public tours of the manor, also known as Sunset Hill, will be available from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, September 27, at 48 Sunset Road in Bloomington. Parking is available across the street at the St. John’s Lutheran Church on Emerson Street.
Along with original furnishings and artwork, the tours will feature an exhibit that includes photos of the manor’s construction, and items from a 1928 time capsule that will be opened for the first time by family members earlier that day.
“The Ewing family have been philanthropists, caring for every part of our community from the Miller Park Zoo to the Illinois State University Foundation,” said Director of Ewing Cultural Center Toni Tucker. “It is an honor and a privilege to be part of this historic event celebrating a home that means so much to them.”
The Channel-Norman-style residence was designed by architect Phil Hooton of the famed Arthur Pillsbury firm, and the decor inspired by a world tour taken by the Ewings in the mid-1920s. The grounds were designed by famed landscape architect Jens Jensen. Read more about the impact of the manor and Hazle Buck Ewing for the community. Today, the manor draws visitors from all over the world, and is a popular venue for weddings and photography.
The manor, designed by Davis Ewing and his wife Hazle, was built on what was the outskirts of Bloomington. The home was a hub of activity for the Ewings, who occupied the upper ranks of society. Hazle, an heir to her father’s partnership in Chicago’s Wrigley Company (of chewing gum fame), was an advocate for education, women’s suffrage, and world peace. Davis, whose father was ambassador to Belgium and related to the Stevenson political family, built most of Bloomington’s first sidewalks with his successful concrete company.
The 90-year-old manor was bequeathed to the Illinois State University Foundation upon Hazle’s death in 1969, and now is part of the Ewing Cultural Center. The center is home to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and the Genevieve Green Gardens.
The Illinois State University Foundation Board maintains the property, which remains vibrant because of dedicated volunteers. Over the last few years, under the direction of Tucker, original pieces of furniture, photos, and other family history have made their way home to the manor, while other pieces are being restored.
Learn more about Ewing Cultural Center at EwingManor.IllinoisState.edu.