Springfield to reopen part of Lincoln-Herndon building
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The building that once housed President Abraham Lincoln’s law office in Springfield will soon be opened as a tourist welcome center.
The first floor of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices historic site will open next month as an extension of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, The State Journal-Register reported .
Major work to replace the floors and painting are complete, said Bureau Tourism Manager Jeff Berg. Building renovations and amenities for the center have cost about $100,000, he said. Funds for the project came from the bureau’s budget, which is funded by the city’s hotel-motel tax.
The building was closed in 2014 for a $1 million renovation, but it failed to reopen due to budget issues. The City Council unanimously voted in April to reopen the building by signing a five-year lease with the state.
“For us to have a fresh, inviting place for people, that’s why (the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) and the city have this partnership,” said Troy Gilmore, superintendent of state historic sites.
The bureau’s existing offices will remain open for administrative purposes, Mayor Jim Langfelder said.
Lincoln and William Herndon rented rooms on the building’s third floor for their law office from 1843 to 1852. The second and third floors have recreations of Lincoln’s law office and a federal courtroom that operated while Lincoln was practicing law, Gilmore said. The floors will remain closed to the public, unless funds are secured for repairs, he said.
Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com