The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum (www.trumanlibrary.org) is launching a significant renovation of its facilities and programs. This is the Truman Library’s first major renovation in more than 20 years and the largest since the museum opened its doors in 1957. This $25-million project is planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of Truman’s presidency in 2020 and aims to ensure the continued relevance and resonance of Truman’s legacy. The renovation project will bring significant economic development to Truman’s hometown and state through expanded operations and increased visitation and tourism. The museum’s last day open to the public is Monday, July 22, 2019, before the museum closes for approximately one year.
The project includes a strategic expansion and renovation of the Library’s public spaces, including the installation of a new Truman permanent exhibition, addition of visitor-friendly amenities, and enhancement of educational and community programming. The all-new, 12,000-square-foot permanent exhibitions with state-of-the-art interactive experiences, a comprehensive educational strategy, and improved storytelling will make the Truman Library a hub for exploration and experiential learning that engages a 21st-century audience. To learn more about the project, visit www.trumanlibraryinstitute.org
“At its heart, the Truman Library is an educational institution,” said Library Director Dr. Kurt Graham. “And we are so thrilled to be able to offer a 21st century experience and interpretation of one of the great proponents of American democracy.”
On April 12, 1945, Vice President Harry S. Truman dramatically and unexpectedly ascended to the presidency in the final months of World War II. President Truman went on to lead our nation through eight of the most explosive years in history with courage, integrity, and humility. Today, the conflicts he faced and the decisions he made— ending the war in Japan, the Marshall Plan, United Nations, NATO, the recognition of Israel, desegregating the military, and the Korean War— continue to shape our democracy and our place in the world. For his service and impact, Truman is consistently ranked among the top five greatest presidents of all time.
“As we approach the 75th anniversary of my grandfather’s presidency, the impact of his legacy on our world is more evident than ever,” said Clifton Truman Daniel, Truman’s oldest grandson and Truman Library Institute Honorary Chairman. “Renovating his library and museum is a fitting way to honor the leading architect of our modern democratic institutions.”
The Truman Library Institute has already raised $23 million in support of the project and has enjoyed generous and enthusiastic support from the local community, including an appropriation from the state of Missouri and lead gifts from Marny and John Sherman, the Sunderland Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, Kansas City Southern, the William T. Kemper Foundation, the National Archives and Records Administration, and an anonymous donor.
“The generosity of our community has been astounding,” said Alex Burden, Executive Director of the Truman Library Institute. “The Greater Kansas City community is passionate about the library and legacy of its hometown president and Truman has fans throughout Kansas City, the state, and the nation.”
The museum entrance will be moved to the east side of the building, where a 3,000-square-foot addition will offer a dramatic entrance to Truman’s presidential library. The museum will be reinvented by nationally-acclaimed museum planning and design firm Gallagher & Associates, whose credits include the International Spy Museum and the National World War II Museum, in collaboration with Monadnock Media and architectural firm The Clark Enersen Partners. JE Dunn Construction has been awarded the building contract.