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February 12, 2001

Governor Ryan, Dignitaries Break Ground for Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today broke ground for the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a facility that will house the state's priceless collection of Lincoln artifacts and serve as the central focus of Lincoln's legacy in his hometown.

"The 192nd birthday of America's Greatest President is an appropriate day to break ground on this long overdue facility in his honor," Ryan said. "This library and museum complex will showcase Illinois' unmatched 46,000-item Lincoln collection, allowing everyone from scholars to schoolchildren to learn about and be inspired by Lincoln's life."

The $115 million facility being built in downtown Springfield, Illinois will be constructed in two phases. The library building, which will house the state's world-renowned Lincoln Collection and serve as the new home for the Illinois State Historical Library, will be built first. Construction on the museum building, which will contain exhibits, audio-visual programs, a restaurant and gift shop, will follow. Construction will be overseen by the Illinois Capital Development Board, which manages all state construction projects. The facility will be staffed and operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Bids for the 100,000-square-foot library building will be opened in March. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid May with completion in late 2002. In addition to public areas, research carrels and reading rooms, the new library building will feature expanded archival and storage space for the Historical Library's current and future collections. The new building will include more than six miles of shelving for books, more than double the library's current capacity; 66 percent more manuscript storage space; nearly triple the storage capacity for microfilm; and more than four times the current storage space for audio-visual materials.

Bids for the museum building will be opened in late July, and construction will start in mid September. The project should be complete by late 2003. The 98,000-square-foot museum will for the first time offer space to publicly display the state's world-renowned Abraham Lincoln Collection.

The buildings were designed by architect Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum of St. Louis. The state-of-the-art, innovative exhibits and theaters inside the museum building are being designed by BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, California.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is being funded through a variety of public and private sources. The State of Illinois has appropriated $50 million for the facility, with the City of Springfield contributing $10 million plus the land upon which the structures are being built. The federal government has provided $2.7 million to help plan the library and museum, and in its most recent session Congress committed $10 in matching funds. Congress has authorized a $50 million cap on matching funds for the project at a $1 (federal) to $2 (non-federal) match.

In addition, private fundraising efforts are underway, with several major corporate donations to date: $2 million from the Ameritech Foundation to fund The Ameritech Holavision® Theater; $1 million from the Motorola Foundation; and $1 million from the State Farm Companies Foundation. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation, chaired by First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan, is actively seeking $35 million in private funds to help complete construction and fund an endowment for ongoing public programming.


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