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Ronald Reagan's boyhood home could close

President Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan and his brother, Neil, visit the Reagans' boyhood home in 1984.
President Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan and his brother, Neil, visit the Reagans' boyhood home in 1984. Photo: Ronald Reagan Library/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home in Dixon, Illinois, could close as a tourist destination and museum after struggling with debt and dreams that never came to fruition, the Chicago Tribune's Madeline Buckley reports.

Why it matters: The former president's childhood home is still a semi-popular destination for fans of the Republican figure, but interest is fading more than a decade after his death.

Details: Annually, the museum normally sees only 5,000 to 6,000 visitors, but that's significantly down from the 20,000 visitors a year in the '90s.

  • The house runs at an annual loss of more than $80,000.
  • Fewer volunteers are willing to work at the home.
  • It has been operating in the red since at least 2014.

Of note: Congress authorized the National Park Service to offer to purchase the home in 2001, according to congressional records, but Gorman said the then-board of directors turned down the offer.

What they're saying: "We cannot keep bleeding money," said Patrick Gorman, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home nonprofit organization.

Go deeper: For Dems, a pre- and post-Reagan divide