Truman Library Begins Major Renovation Project
By Mary Ryan | National Archives News
WASHINGTON, September 5, 2019 — The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO, is undergoing a year-long renovation that will result in a new Truman permanent exhibition, new amenities for visitors, and enhanced educational and community programming.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, and Clifton Truman Daniel (President Truman’s oldest grandson), joined Library Director Kurt Graham for a ceremonial ground-breaking to mark the beginning of this major renovation and expansion project.
“Our Presidential Libraries play an important role in educating visitors about how our government works, especially the role of the President," said Ferriero.“The Kansas City area is fortunate to serve as home to one of our nation’s 14 Presidential Libraries, and we look forward to the next generation learning from Harry Truman’s life and Presidency upon the reopening of the Truman Library next year.”
The library closed on July 23—although the research room remains open—and will reopen in fall 2020. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of Truman’s succession to the Presidency after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the opening of the new public spaces will be a fitting tribute to the man and the President.
Daniel reflected on his grandfather’s vision for his Presidential Library.“He imagined it as a place where people could learn about our democracy and the Presidency,” Daniel said. “He teased my grandmother that the library courtyard was their final resting place so he could get up and go to work if he wanted to. He’d like the idea that this renovation will do just that—keep him, his times, and his Presidency alive for future generations.”
The $30 million project is the library’s largest renovation since the museum opened in 1957. When it is done, the library will have a 3,000-square-foot addition with a new front entrance and lobby, and completely new and reimagined museum exhibits.
“It’s a great time to be in the Truman business,” Graham said. “People are very interested in Harry Truman and see him as a great unifier who brought together people of all political persuasions. With this complete remaking of the entire museum, we are bringing Truman’s legacy to the 21st century and encouraging people to take a look at that legacy.”