top of page

La Vista on the Bluffs

A Brief History

The 255 acres, its main house, and the Lodge originally belonged to the Levis family, who were owners of the Illinois Glass Company. The main house was a summer home built in the 1920’s. The bluff-top site was selected for the prevailing summer breezes at a time when there was no air conditioning.

Visitors can enjoy viewing the Mississippi River, the bottomlands of Missouri, and sunsets from the front patio of the main house; hiking in the well-maintained Oblates Woods Nature Preserve; touring sustainable La Vista Farm; and walking the paths of the Pollinator Garden.

The Scenic Grounds
The Lodge

The Lodge, inspired by English architecture, dates to 1934. It was designed by St. Louis architectural giant, Preston J. Bradshaw and built for Charles Levis, founder of Illinois Glass Works in Alton. Occasionally we use the lodge for programs and celebrations. Its unique design draws visitors to return time and again. 

Since 1950 La Vista has been the site of the Oblate Novitiate. Over the years, these 255 acres of woods, bluffs, pastures, and gardens have been home to hundreds of Oblates, novices, and countless other creatures. While this space primarily functions to form priests and brothers of the future, it is also home to the Oblate Ecological Initiative, a project which includes La Vista Ecological Learning Center and the Community Supported Garden. 

Located in the heart of what has been described as “one of the best remaining examples of undisturbed, biologically important lands in Illinois”, the grounds provide a space of natural beauty and spiritual quiet to reflect on one's appreciation and understanding of Creation's Integrity.

Visitors to La Vista Ecological Learning Center

and the Community Supported Garden

are welcome by appointment.

Please contact us at 618-466-5004

to make arrangements and receive directions.

bottom of page