Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library Renovation
Roosevelt Library gets a face-lift
Photograph courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Back in 2010, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library was in rough shape. America’s first presidential library, the building — designed by FDR himself — hadn’t had any significant improvements made to it since it opened in 1941; that’s almost 70 years. A treasure trove of documents, photographs, newsreels, and other fragile historical artifacts were in danger of being damaged as a result of the site’s aging infrastructure.
Thankfully, after years of lobbying, the federal government came to the rescue, providing $35 million for a long-overdue overhaul. The renovated library was unveiled to the public in late June. Along with structural upgrades, it is now home to a bevy of interactive exhibits — including a touch screen tour of Roosevelt’s Oval Office desk — which staffers hope will entice younger visitors through the gates. Besides chronicling FDR’s life in the political arena, the expanded exhibit area also includes information on his (and Eleanor’s) personal and social lives — including the president’s relationship (rumored to be amorous) with Lucy Mercer and other female friends.