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September 21, 2001

Governor and First Lady Conduct Ceremonial Beam Signing for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today was joined by First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan and local dignitaries in signing a structural steel support beam for the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library building now under construction.

"By signing this beam, we are marking the progress of the construction in anticipation of its completion late next year," Gov. Ryan said. "And by investing in this project we are telling the world that we believe in the resiliency of America and have confidence in our future."

The library is the first phase of the complex, which will also include a museum and visitor center gateway in the renovated Union Station. The Library will house the collection of the Illinois State Historical Library, which includes many Lincoln documents and artifacts.

The beam, signed by the Governor and First Lady, is part of the cylindrical reading room just off the building's main entrance. Its round shape and floor-to-ceiling windows are the Library's distinctive feature. A similar feature will also mark the entrance to the museum, which will be constructed across Jefferson street. The four-story, 99,000 square-foot library will serve as the research arm of the complex, while the Museum will provide the public with interactive exhibits and theaters.

The construction of the facility is being managed by the Capital Development Board. St. Louis architect HOK, Inc. designed the building and a team of local contractors, led by general contractor Siciliano, Inc., is performing construction. In addition to placing the structural steel support beams, concrete foundation walls are being poured and the underfloor infrastructure is being installed. Work is progressing on schedule for completion of the Library portion of the complex in late 2002.

The Museum and Union Station rehabilitation are scheduled for completion by early 2004.


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