A fundraising campaign is underway for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum renovation.
The CEO of the Herbert Hoover Foundation, Jerry Fleagle, says the library in West Branch was last renovated in 1992. “Normal museums are refreshed or renovated every 12 to 15 years — so it’s time. One of the things we’re looking at with presidential libraries is you have to raise the funds privately to make the improvements and renovations on that,” Fleagle says.
He says they are trying to raise 20 million dollars in the campaign called “Timeless Values, Modern Experience.” “We will basically go down to the bare walls on the museum portion and reinstalling new exhibits, everything. So, it will be a complete renovation,” he explains.
The Iowa Legislature passed and the governor signed a bill in June to give donors a tax credit for contributing to the project. “Not a deduction — but actually a state tax credit — so for every 100 dollars that somebody might donate to this project, they would get a $25 state of Iowa tax credit that they can use on their state income tax. And businesses can also use it on their business taxes as well,” according to Fleagle.
He says there are $5 million dollars in tax credits available. “Those expire on December 31st 2023, so it’s a little over two years from now. Once they are gone, they are gone. And I would anticipate as more people become aware of them that they will probably go fairly quickly…but if we don’t use them up by the end of 2023 they will expire — so we’d sure like to use them up as best we can,” Fleagle says.
He says they would like to have the money raised by May or June of 2023. “Because the National Archives who controls the Hoover Presidential Library they are a federal agency. To do any kind of renovation, they require you to have 90 percent of your funds on hand to go ahead and start,” he explains. “And that’s understandable sledgehammers to the walls until they know that you’ve got the money to replace them.”
He says they hoped to have the renovation done in time to celebrate Hoover’s 150th birthday on August 10th, 2026. You can go to the foundation’s website and click on the campaign donation tab to make a donation to the effort.