“Mister Lincoln’s hometown” is coping with the temporary loss of one of its big tourist attractions, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. That’s the only Springfield attraction affected by the partial shutdown of the federal government. Most of the others are state-run.
Chris Wills is spokesman for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which includes the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He’s hard pressed to say the state sites, including the presidential museum, have been big beneficiaries.
“The first week of the federal shutdown, attendance at the Lincoln Presidential Library was down a little bit from a year earlier. Whether there’s a connection between those two things is hard to say,” says Wills. “During the same period, the attendance was strong, or maybe even up a little at some of our other sites, like the Old State Capitol and the Lincoln Tomb.”
The Lincoln Home is the only National Park Service site in the state and thus the only major tourist attraction in Springfield shut down.