Museums

Eisenhower Pres. Library Museum and Boyhood Home Abilene

Where is it at?

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Eisenhower Pres. Library Museum and Boyhood Home
200 SE Fourth Street
Abilene
KS
67410
Tel: 877-746-4453

Directions

TRAVELING TO ABILENE: Abilene is located on Highway I-70 approximately 150 miles west of Kansas City and 120 miles north of Wichita. The Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum is located about 2 miles south of I-70 on K-15.

Where are we going today?

The Museum

Built by the Eisenhower Foundation, with funds raised through public gifts, the Eisenhower Presidential Museum is constructed of Kansas limestone. Originally dedicated on Veterans Day in 1954, the Museum was built to house the materials and objects related to Dwight D. Eisenhower's life. It contains over 30,000-square feet of gallery space, with exhibits showing not only the fine art objects collected by and given to Eisenhower but also the story of his careers as military leader and President of the United States.

The Museum is divided into five major galleries consisting of an introductory gallery, a changing exhibits gallery, a First Lady's gallery, a military gallery, and a presidential gallery. Of special interest and importance is the changing exhibits gallery. A different exhibit is presented periodically so that repeat visitors can always experience something new.

The Visitors Center

The Visitors Center is located on the site of the former Lincoln School, where Eisenhower first enrolled in elementary school. The Visitors Center houses our gift shop and an auditorium where a brief film on Eisenhower is shown on a daily schedule.

The Boyhood Home

A typical nineteenth century home, the Eisenhower family occupied this house from 1898 until Mrs. Eisenhower's death in 1946. Her sons gave the house, on its original site, to the Eisenhower Foundation which maintained it until it was given to the Federal Government in 1966.

David and Ida Eisenhower purchased their home on South East Fourth Street from David's brother, Abraham Lincoln Eisenhower. The family moved into the six-room home in late 1898. The title changed from Abraham to Ida on April 4, 1899 for the sum of $1,000. Ida in turn sold the house to David for $1.00 on May 18, 1908. The real estate consisted of all but two lots of the block bordered on the west by Chestnut (now Kuney) Street, the east by Olive Street, north by South East Third Street and the south by South East Fourth. The Eisenhower property had between two and one-half and three acres which contained the house, a large barn, a chicken house, a smoke house, an outhouse, an orchard, a strawberry patch, and a large garden located to the east of the house.

In 1900, Grandfather Jacob Eisenhower moved in with David, Ida and their six sons. At that time, two bedrooms and a walk-through closet were added to the east side of the house. The new south bedroom was used by David and Ida, with Jacob using the smaller north bedroom. Jacob lived with the family until his death in 1906.

The north bedroom was converted to the indoor bathroom around 1908. The last addition to the Eisenhower home consisted of a small kitchen, pantry and an enclosed back porch added in 1915. The home is furnished as it was at the time of Ida Eisenhower's death in 1946. The furnishings are original to the home although some have been moved to accommodate visitors touring the home. The wallpapers in the two parlors, dining room and hallway are identical to the papers in the home in 1946.

Ida Eisenhower was the last person to ever live in the house. It has been opened to the public since early 1947, originally as a World War II Veterans Memorial and now as the boyhood home of Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States.

A self guided tour of the Boyhood home is available in Spanish upon request.

The Place of Meditation

The Place of Meditation is the final resting place of Dwight David Eisenhower, October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969; Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower, November 14, 1896 - November 1, 1979; and their first-born son, Doud Dwight Eisenhower, September 23, 1917 - January 2, 1921.

Designed by James Canole, Kansas State architect, it is built of native limestone quarried in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, and features chipped glass windows designed by Odell Prather, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The windows were constructed by Conway Glass Studio of Winona, Minnesota. The marble used in the crypt is Arabian Travertine from Germany, Italy, and France.

There is a meditation portion of the building where, according to General Eisenhower's wishes, it was hoped that visitors would reflect upon the ideals that made this a great nation and pledge themselves again to continued loyalty to those ideals. The Place of Meditation was built with private funds under the auspices of the Eisenhower Presidential Library Commission.

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsAdults: $10 Seniors (62+): $9
  • ChildrenAges (6-15): $2
  • Free Under: 5
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

9am-4:45pm Daily

Teachers corner

Working With Primary Sources: Onsite research experiences for secondary students may be tailored to the needs of the students and the requirements of the class. Teachers who would like more information about bringing a class of students to the Eisenhower Presidential Library for original research should contact the archives staff. Primary Sources: The manuscript collections and audiovisual archives contain many documents and photographs that may be useful to students working on historical papers, exhibit projects, History Day projects, and media or dramatic performances. Scanned copies of original documents and photographs relating to topics such as the development of the Interstate Highway System, the Salk Polio Vaccine, World War II, the Jewish Holocaust and many more are included in the Online Documents section..

I'm Hungry!

There are 3 Historic Restaurants in Abilene: Mr. K's Farmhouse - 785-263-7995 - 407 S Van Buren; Brookville Hotel - 785-263-2244 - 105 E Lafayette; The Hitching Post - 785-263-1868 - 100 SE Fifth Street.

Any Top Tips?

Over 10 Museums and Attractions in Abilene to see, so spend the weekend..

Can I get one of those?

We have many artisan stores for shopping and lots of antique stores..

More information

Gunfights in Old Abilene Town weekends May-Oct. Shows on Sat. at 11:30am, 1:30pm & 3:30pm, Sun at 1:30pm & 3:30pm. Get an ice cold sarsaparilla and other snacks at The Alamo Saloon..

What people are saying?

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    If you are a WW2 buff, this is the place to visit. They have a WW2 exhibit through 2016. There is lots to read and some exhibits. For me it was a bit too much. Comparing it to the Truman library, it came up lacking. It was not as interactive and had too much text.

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    This is an incredible monument. While the library is closed to visitors the coffins of the former president is open to the public. It's quite a remarkable experience to get to see them. If your in the area be sure to visit.

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    This is one stop you should take in you are driving on I70 through Kansas.Very good for history on Eisenhower and events while he was President.

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    I LIke IKE!!!

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    Of the 33 presidential libraries and homes we have been to, this is the best one. Ike may have been the most popular leader in the history of mankind. The history on WWII and the cold war is great.

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