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Renovation project for Lincoln home progressing

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2010 at 10:09 am •  Published: November 26, 2010

HODGENVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The site where Abraham Lincoln formed his earliest memories is about to undergo major renovations.

The first phase of the plan to upgrade the Boyhood Home at Knob Creek will wrap up next month with the end of public commenting on an environmental assessment, park Superintendent Keith Pruitt said.

Construction may begin this summer on the project, which could cost $2.24 million, according to a preliminary estimate. A major focus of the work will be turning a 1930s roadside tavern into a visitors center with informational displays. The building off U.S. 31E near Hodgenville is closed to the public for safety reasons. Work to the old tavern likely will be limited at first until further funding can be found.

Other projects will include expanding the parking lot, building exterior restrooms and trail development. Before that, construction documents for contractors will be drawn up by spring, Pruitt said.

The National Park Service acquired the site in 2001 as part of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. The farm where Lincoln was born is about 10 miles away, just south of Hodgenville.

For now, the Boyhood park has a temporary visitor contact station, hiking trails and a replica of the boyhood cabin, which the National Park Service recently restored. Logs in the cabin were taken from the home of Austin Gollaher, who Lincoln said saved him from drowning.

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