Illinois Historic Sites Forced To Reduce Hours
By Amanda Vinicky
More than a dozen of Illinois' historic sites will be closed to the public for an extra day each week, thanks to budget cuts. But others have been spared.
Illinois' Historic Preservation Agency is making good on its threat to reduce operating hours at many of its sites, after seeing its state funding sliced 20 percent.
Abraham Lincoln's Tomb and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dana Thomas House in Springfield will be open four days, instead of five, beginning next month.
Same goes for Bloomington's David Davis mansion, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna, and the old statehouse in Vandalia.
But another dozen or so sites will be unaffected.
Spokesman Chris Wills said it's not because they're more or less popular; rather, it's a matter of staffing levels.
"A number of sites have vacancies that, becuase of this budget we cannot fill, therefore it makes sense to reduce their hours, so that the remaining person - or persons, who's there to oversee tours and maintenance and so forth, has some off time," he said. "Otherwise we'd rack up big overtime bills."
However, that scenario could change early next year.
Wills says unless the legislature approves additional spending, sites could be closed completely.