The Capital Development Board has awarded a contract to install a
geothermal heating and cooling system at the Lincoln Tomb State
Historic Site in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. The successful
bidder is Henson Robinson Co. of Springfield, the lower of two
bidders with a quote of $376,000. The Illinois Jobs Now project
should start by the end of October and be complete by late spring
Geothermal, or geo-exchange, technology will be used to replace
the existing heating and cooling systems at Lincoln Tomb State
Historic Site in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery, a move that will
reduce energy usage, improve efficiency, protect the historic tomb
finishes and increase comfort for nearly 375,000 people from around
the world who visit the 16th president's final resting place each
"The Lincoln Tomb geothermal project is the first such
installation on a state historic site and will significantly reduce
the tomb's energy usage, making the state historic site better for
those who work in it and the area surrounding it," said Jim Riemer,
executive director of the Capital Development Board.
Geothermal is ground-source energy that takes advantage of the
constant year-round underground temperature of about 55 degrees F.
At Lincoln Tomb, vertical pipe loops will be buried about 300 feet
underground and an antifreeze liquid pumped through the pipes. In
the summer, the liquid will move heat from the building into the
ground. In the winter, it will do the opposite. Heat pumps will be
used at Lincoln Tomb to facilitate the heating and cooling transfer
within the building.
The pipes and wells for the geothermal system at Lincoln Tomb
will be installed underneath the tomb lawn. Once the infrastructure
is installed, the grass will be replaced and visitors will have the
same sweeping vista of Lincoln Tomb as they have since the structure
was built in 1874.
No estimates are available about the projected energy savings the
tomb will experience with the geothermal system.
The current heating and air conditioning system at Lincoln Tomb
is a water-source heat pump system that was last upgraded in the
early 1990s but is now past its expected life span. Utility,
maintenance and repair costs for a system of this age continue to
increase. The existing cooling tower, located within an unsightly
fenced enclosure northwest of the tomb, will be removed once the
geothermal system is installed.
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"Oak Ridge Cemetery is surpassed only by Arlington National
Cemetery as the nation's most visited burial ground, and this new
climate control system in our 16th president's final resting place
will allow the tomb to keep welcoming visitors from every part of
the globe," said Jan Grimes, director of the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency, which administers Lincoln Tomb State Historic
The Lincoln Tomb project has also earned a $25,000
energy-efficiency grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community
Foundation to assist in the conversion from a traditional to an
energy-saving geo-exchange system. The foundation has supported more
than 65 geothermal installations across Illinois through its grants.
For more information, visit
Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is the final resting place of
Abraham Lincoln; his wife, Mary; and three of his four sons --
Eddie, William "Willie" and Thomas "Tad." It was built entirely with
public donations and was completed in 1874.
Capital Development Board file received from
the Illinois Historic