Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday that public museums across
Illinois will receive $15 million in state capital investments to
improve facilities and develop new exhibits while creating more than
370 jobs. Heritage In Flight will receive $112,518 from the state
for improvements to its facilities.
HIF Museum curator Jack Burke said the grant money will be used
to restore the existing Heritage In Flight Museum building, which
was a World War II barracks from Camp Ellis. The building was moved
to Lincoln in 1950 and is one of few remaining of its kind.
The project will include siding, new electrical, heating and air
conditioning systems, and replacement of doors and windows. This
project is necessary to help preserve the artifacts, some of which
are approaching 100 years old, Burke said.
Also included in the project is the display hangar, which houses
"The entire project will take at least two years to complete, but
the end result will serve Logan County for years to come," Burke
HIF is one of several museums in Logan County that together draw
people of diverse interests and attract visitors from all over the
United States and even the world.
Geoff Ladd, director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of
Logan County, has worked with HIF for years to find the funding for
this work for the museum. Ladd is excited that the funds have been
found that will support one of our important historic sites and the
"Jack Burke deserves the credit for this grant, and I applaud his
efforts and diligence," Ladd said. "Heritage In Flight is a
fantastic hidden gem, but that is all changing for the better now.
"The tourism bureau has a long, productive history with the
museum, and we will be especially interested in developing new
promotions in conjunction with this latest publicity.
Congratulations to Jack and everyone at HIF for all your hard work."
Supported by Gov. Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now capital program, the
project investments will help give the millions of people who visit
Illinois' public museums each year a better understanding of the
culture, history and natural heritage of the state.
"Our museums expand educational frontiers by allowing visitors to
learn about Illinois' history and cultural diversity in unique,
interactive ways," Quinn said. "These Illinois Jobs Now grants will
not only help preserve and enhance some of Illinois' greatest
treasures, but also boost the economy by creating jobs and bringing
more visitors to our state and its outstanding museums."
The projects are part of the
Illinois Public Museum Capital
Grants Program, which is managed by the Illinois Department of
"The Museum Capital Grants Program assists local public museums
in meeting their educational missions by upgrading or expanding
museum facilities," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "Museums play a
vital role in helping students, families and visitors to Illinois
better understand the culture, history and natural heritage of local
communities and the state of Illinois."
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The grant recipients represent a wide range of cultural interests
from across Illinois. The National Hellenic Museum and National
Public Housing Museum in Chicago are expected to attract visitors
from across the nation, as will the Lincoln Park Zoo's
state-of-the-art Japanese macaque exhibit. Visitors will experience
glimpses into Illinois' past at the Galena and U.S. Grant Museum's
"Port of Galena" exhibit, Kankakee County Museum's celebration of
"French Heritage," and the 1940s Music Store at the Joliet Area
Historical Museum. Illinois children will enjoy the new "My Great
Backyard" exhibit at the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal, the
Kohl Children's Museum's "Books and Crannies" exhibit and the
Chicago Children's Museum "I-Lab." A complete list of projects is
The grant announcement marks the second time Quinn has made a
significant investment in public museums throughout Illinois. In
2010, nearly $15 million in capital dollars funded exhibit expansion
and improvements at more than 50 museums, including new garden
exhibits at the botanic gardens in both Glencoe and the Quad Cities,
an interactive exhibit at the Midway Village Museum in Rockford
exploring the history of immigration, and a new conservation and
outreach center at the Chicago Zoological Society.
Other nearby central Illinois grant recipients in Springfield,
Bloomington and Peoria include:
Memorial Garden Foundation (Sangamon County) -- $82,433.
Renovation of the Ostermeir Farmhouse to add
handicapped-accessible features, waterproof basement, replace
carpet, install life safety devices and replace doors.
District's Washington Park Botanical Garden (Sangamon County) --
$318,620. This Washington Park botanical garden project includes
installation of new heating and cooling units and a new LED
lighting system, increasing energy efficiency. Also, an outdoor
gathering plaza will be created.
Discovery Museum, Normal (McLean County) -- $209,000. The "My
Great Backyard" construction project creates a new exhibit that
provides opportunities for exploration and discovery through
tactile, visual and auditory stimuli, and will also include a
fort and clubhouse with observation towers connected by a wooden
bridge and a meandering stream.
Peoria Zoo (Peoria County) -- $180,000.
The "Adventure Grove" project features habitats and environments
of local animals, with winding paths of permeable concrete and
interpretive nodes of recycled glass pavement that invite guests
to become the living animals.
Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now capital construction
program is the largest in Illinois history. The program, which began
in 2009, is expected to support an estimated 439,000 construction
jobs over six years.
See full list of recipients:
Museum Capital Projects (PDF)
news release from the
Government News Network; LDN]