NIXON LIBRARY CELEBRATES 25th ANNIVERSARY
Permanent Galleries Scheduled to Close September 28th for Major Renovation
July 20, 2015 — On its 25th anniversary – and with four million visitors since opening on July 20, 1990 – the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum announced that it has scheduled to close its permanent museum galleries on September 28 to begin a $25 million renovation and the implementation of new civic and leadership educational programs.
The new permanent museum galleries will reopen in fall 2016.
“The Nixon Library’s permanent museum galleries are 25 years old and have largely remained in their original form,” said Bill Baribault, President and CEO of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “The gallery renovation will bring new exhibits, updated technology, interactive displays and participatory learning opportunities to the visitor experience – making the Nixon Library a top destination for visitors not just in Southern California, but around the country,” Baribault added.
“Our mission is to create a new, more interesting and provocative look at Richard Nixon, using innovative ways to connect with visitors,” said Michael Ellzey, Director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. “It’s time to tell a more complete and engaging story of the life and legacy of America’s 37th President using the vast archives available to us by one of the most documented presidencies in history,” Ellzey added.
“The Library has changed very little since opening, but the world is now connected in ways that were not available 25 years ago,” said Ellzey. “With a new online experience to complement the physical renovation, the Library will be easily and instantly accessible to millions of e-visitors around the world,” he added.
The Watergate exhibit, which opened in 2011, will remain unchanged.
The Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives and Records Administration are partners in the museum renovation project.
Thinkwell Group of Los Angeles, one of the world’s most successful and innovative show designers, has been retained to plan the new museum layout, visitor flow and interactive museum presentations. Cortina Productions, an audio-visual group headquartered in McLean, Virginia, will craft the media experience in harmony with the new exhibit space, as it has done at other Presidential Libraries.
“Historical accuracy is vital when planning the galleries of this presidential museum,” Baribault said. “Our entire planning and design team is completely committed to this pillar of the project,” he added.
The permanent museum galleries are scheduled to close on September 28, but the President’s birthplace, the President and Mrs. Nixon’s gravesites, the First Lady’s Gardens, the Presidential Helicopter, and the White House East Room will remain open during renovation.
“If you’ve never visited the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, or want to experience it in its original form before closing, you have only until the end of September,” Baribault said.
Community events such as the annual Patriot Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorations will continue in the East Room and on the grounds throughout the renovation period, as will VIP speakers including noted authors and political leaders. The East Room and Gardens will continue to be available for individual, non-profit and corporate functions.
The Nixon Library Research Room will remain open to students, researchers and the general public during the renovation process. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The renovation project will be funded entirely by private donations raised by the Richard Nixon Foundation through the Richard Nixon Centennial Legacy Campaign. The ongoing efforts aim to raise $25 million, including $15 million for the museum gallery renovation, and $10 million for the implementation of civic and leadership educational programs, student scholarships and fellowships, and increased collaborative efforts between the Nixon Library and colleges and universities.