By Tim Horan
Renovation of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum is progressing but there are other changes coming to the Eisenhower Presidential Library campus.
Executive Director Dawn Hammatt told the Rotary Club recently that the Boyhood Home, the trees and the web page have all aged.
With the D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration Week kicking off with June 1 activities culminating with the Symphony at Sunset that evening, Hammatt reported that work continues on the museum which should reopen late July.
“Mamie and Ike are getting their own voice in the museum,” she said.
The opening was postponed from the expected June 6 date to sometime in July because of the government shutdown.
However, there are other changes coming to the Library grounds, she said.
The Eisenhower family occupied the home on southeast Fourth Street from 1898 until Ida Eisenhower died in 1946.
“As we all know, structures that age need some care. They need some love and some attention,” he said.
The first step is a historic structure report.
“This allows our community to protect our historic structures. There is somebody else looking at what you are going to do to determine if you are going to fix it in the right manner,” she said.
She said that the National Archives and Records Administration found funding at the end of last year to pay for the historic structure report.
“I have been screaming like a lunatic that we need some work on this building. The first step is a historic structure report,” she said.
“We haven’t planted younger trees ever to replace these trees as they mature,” she said. “We have a lot of trees that are at the end of their life span. We have some that are diseased. We have ash trees and everyone knows about the (Emerald) Ash Bore that is coming. We are probably going to start noticing probably next winter some changes.”
Some trees will be removed and new trees will be planted in their place.
“We all love our canopy. This is going to hurt us as much as it is going to hurt everybody else but these trees are at the end of their life cycle. There is really nothing I can do but watch them fall, which we certainly don’t want,” she said.
Hammatt said changes are also coming to the web site at www.eisenhower.arvhives.gov.
“I call it the purple web site because it looks purple on my screen,” she said.
“It is not user friendly. It is not interactive,” she said.
The Eisenhower Foundation was looking at a web site that the foundation and the library could use together. However, the Federal government prohibited the merger of the web sites.
However, a web redesign is still in future plans.
“(Richard) Nixon’s is already live. (Ronald) Reagan’s is next,” Hammatt said.
When they are all up and running, a researcher can use the NARA database collection information all at once.
“This is going to be an excellent opportunity for researchers to use all of NARA’s collections from one jumping off point,” said Hammatt.
Contact Tim Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org.