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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum to be updated for first time since 1992

The Daily Iowan

After nearly 30 years without being updated, the 31st U.S. president’s historical museum is finally ready to look to the future.

When entering the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, the building’s age is not immediately apparent. Compared with the cluster of 19th-century cottages and shops surrounding the museum, the one-story limestone museum may initially appear modern and functional. 

The reality, however, is quite different: this living legacy to the 31st U.S. President first opened in 1962, when Hoover was celebrating his 88th birthday. The most recent renovation took place in 1992 — the last thirty years have taken their toll on the building.


The Hoover Presidential Foundation, an organization run primarily by the Hoover family, is working to remedy this. The establishment is seeking approximately $20 million — backed by a state income tax deduction bill — to demolish and rebuild the museum’s main gallery and exhibits, which lead museum-goers on a walk through the 31st president’s life and accomplishments. 

The Hoover Foundation and museum staff, including museum director Thomas Schwartz, are working closely with BRC Imagination Arts, a museum exhibit design company. BRC has also worked on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which is not overseen by NARA.

“I do think the one thing BRC does well is that they’re outstanding storytellers. People may come in not knowing anything about Hoover, but I can guarantee you by the time they leave they’ll be changed,” Schwartz said.

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