The long-running fight between the state of Illinois and various contractors over cost overruns at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has finally been settled. The total project, including the library, museum, visitors center, parking garage and park took longer to plan and build than did the Civil War and cost a whopping 145 million dollars. An ugly dispute between the state and the contractors began even before the complex opened.
The contractors, including the architect, claimed that Illinois still owed them millions, while Illinois blamed them for huge delays on all phases of the project. To settle the dispute, Illinois will collect 3 million dollars from the contractors and in turn do not owe them a dime.
If you’ve never been to the Library and Museum, which is by far the most-attended of all the Presidential complexes, I would recommend it highly. I made a “pilgrimage” there a couple of years ago and found it to be informative and entertaining. To be sure, it’s a little bit over the top with its “Disney-like” exhibits such as holographic presenters and a “recreation” of Lincoln’s boyhood log cabin, but it also provides the casual visitor with accurate and detailed information about Lincoln and his family. When I visited, the Museum had a temporary exhibit about the assassination, titled “Blood On The Moon” and it was fascinating. The Museum gift shop is first rate with an excellent selection of books and other mementos for the more serious Lincoln fan, and the usual t-shirts and such for kids.