INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson headlined an impressive list of dignitaries who came to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday to celebrate the completion of a $30 million capital campaign at the tourist attraction.
The upcoming upgrades represent the largest renovation project at the museum since Truman officially opened the facility in 1957.
The museum and library are closed right now but will reopen when the redesign is complete next fall.
“Thousands and thousands of people will come here and visit this center,” Parson said. “But it won’t be necessarily about the building. It will be about what’s inside of the building."
"It will be about the values that one man from the state of Missouri represented to the whole country, and the world, about who we are in Missouri.”
In addition to other local state and local elected officials on hand for Thursday’s ceremony, David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, traveled to Independence to honor Missouri’s only homegrown U.S. President.
"Our Presidential Libraries play an important role in educating visitors about how our Government works, especially the role of the President,” Ferriero said.
“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 Truman Library’s transformation includes an expansion and renovation of the Library’s public spaces.
The Library will install a new permanent Truman exhibition, open a new visitor entrance with easier access, and expand its educational and community programming.
The new 12,000-square-foot Truman exhibit will feature the latest interactive experiences. Coupled with a comprehensive educational strategy and improved storytelling, the new exhibit will make the Truman Library a hub for exploration and experiential learning that engages a 21st-century audience.
The reopening in next fall will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of the Truman presidency. The research room at the Truman Library remains open during the museum renovation.