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Check out the latest progress of our library renovation!

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You have to break a few bricks to renovate a Presidential Library


With FDR looking on we continue to make progress in Phase 2 of our Library renovation. Demolition work is all around us, the roofers are putting on a beautiful new slate roof on the original 1939 building, and the new stair installation is proceeding. As soon as the stair is in place we will move Library staff to the attic to give the remaining spaces in the building to the contractor. Our permanent museum exhibits close on April 30th and we open our exciting photographic exhibit on the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on May 1st.

Hard hats are mandatory and it’s starting to look like a construction site again as Phase 2 of the Library renovation gets into full swing. Workmen are in the temporary exhibit gallery getting it ready for new windows and minor changes. As soon as this work is completed we will start to fabricate our new photo exhibit so we can turn the permanent exhibit space over to the contractors. In the Library basement abatement and demolition are underway. Messy but very necessary work.

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To prepare the lower levels of the historic Library building for the next phase of renovation the Museum staff is moving all 35,000 artifacts to the attic floor. ARTEX Fine Art Services is assisting the staff with the move.

The massive museum collection—including campaign memorabilia, ship models and naval prints, clothing and presidential gifts—will be returned to storage on the basement level after those spaces are fully renovated in early 2013. The new permanent museum exhibits—designed by Gallagher and Associates and scheduled to open in summer 2013—will feature many items from the collection that have rarely been seen by museum visitors.

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Renovation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum began on May 27, 2010 as Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management, LLC , Pleasant Valley, NY was given the notice to proceed on the first phase of a three year project with a budget of $35 million in federal funding.


The project is designed by the architectural firm of Einhorn, Jaffe, Prescott of Albany, With the exception of two wings added in 1972 in honor of Mrs. Roosevelt, it is the first overhaul of the Roosevelt Library since it was completed in 1941. The new work carefully preserves the building’s historic appearance, while bringing its archives and museum up to the National Archives’s standards for the long-term preservation of historic collections.

We have 35,000 museum objects and 20 million pages of documents in our collections. New drainage, plumbing, and roofing systems and new electrical, security, fire protection and other systems will address longstanding facility problems.



Museum visitors and researchers will enjoy improved amenities, including, for the first time, full accessibility for people in wheelchairs. Phase One of this two phase project has been completed and Phase Two is scheduled to proceed on January 17, 2012. Stay tuned to our blog for monthly updates of our progress. To view renovation photos visit our Library Renovation collection on Flickr.

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