Lincoln Home to be Closed for Restoration
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Abraham Lincoln’s house will be closed to tourists for 15 months beginning this fall so workers can install a comfort the 16th president never enjoyed - air-conditioning and humidity control.
The 20th-century addition is part of a renovation aimed at helping the 146- year-old house and its antique furnishings withstand prairie summers and the tread of an estimated 500,000 tourists each year.
Restorers also will reinforce or replace sagging beams and deteriorated fabric. Workers intend to leave the house looking as it did in 1860, the year Lincoln was elected president.
Officials of the National Park Service, which runs the home, had planned to keep it open but decided to close it beginning in late October or early November because of the likelihood of safety hazards and delays.
″If we kept it open while the restoration work was going on, it would probably would have extended the work schedule,″ said Richard Lusardi, acting superintendent of the site.
Lincoln, then a prosperous lawyer and former state legislator, bought the two-story frame house in 1844 for $1,500. He lived there with his wife and four sons until 1861, when the family moved into the White House. It is the only house Lincoln ever owned.