The Mayor issued a press release urging concerned citizens to call or write state legislators to keep the Vandalia State House, located on old U.S. 40, and other historic sites open. You can read the entire press release and get contact information for letter-writing on the American Road Magzine forum.
It is interesting that Mayor Gottman mentioned the 2009 Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth and the additional tourism that it is expected to bring to Illinois, because another city in Illinois that contains major Abraham Lincoln tourist sites (and is on Route 66 as well) has a historic site that is also threatened with closure by the budget cuts – the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield. The web site states that the home is due to close on December 1, 2008. It is sad to think that tourists who come to Springfield next year will not be able to see this wonder designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I personally know one of the volunteers who gives tours at this site, and when I think of all the hours that she and others have dedicated over the years, free of charge, it’s even sadder that the state can’t keep up it’s part of the bargain. Please make your views known if you object to the closure.
Here is more information and commentary on the budget cuts and their effect on historic sites: