A preservation project in Council Bluffs will renovate the city’s former library and create a museum for the Union Pacific Railroad’s historical collection. The library was built in 1903 with funds from the Carnegie Foundation, and has been vacant since a new library opened two years ago. Mary Ann Hanusa is leading the effort to raise funds for the renovation. She says the building is in good structural shape, but does need to be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.Hanusa says the U-P collection is estimated to be worth ten million dollars.The collection contains the contents of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral car, many antique firearms, the surveying equipment used to lay out the lines for the Transcontinental Railroad. She says it also contains a collection of china from various trains and hundreds of photographs. Hanusa expects the museum to bring thousands of railroad buffs to Council Bluffs.Hanusa hopes to raise 23-million dollars to renovate the library.The State of Iowa has awarded the “Friends of the Carnegie Library Foundation” 150-thousand dollars to help in the effort. Hanusa says they hope to have the museum opened late next year.
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