Ronald Reagan's boyhood home could close
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