Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum reopens to the public

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch is back open to the public this week for the first time since March 2020.

The National Archives and Records Administration gave it the green light to re-open because of declining COVID-19 numbers in Cedar and Johnson Counties.

Tom Schwarz, the director of the facility, knows Herbert Hoover like the back of his hand. Sharing that knowledge with others is one of his favorite things to do.

“My staff has been chomping at the bit to open to the public,” Schwarz said.

Schwarz chatted it up with Doug Maddox, of Bettendorf, and his grandchildren on Wednesday.

“One of my grandsons is visiting her from Utah, and we’ve been wanting to come to the museum,” Maddox said. “So we’ve called several times to see if it was open.”

Many visitors like Maddox hang around West Branch after touring the Museum and grounds. The museum brings in more than 35,000 people to a city of just more than 2,000.

Steven Grace, with Main Street Sweets, says they’ve missed that foot traffic over the last 16 months. He’s happy the museum is back open for more than one reason.

“Business-wise but just also for the community,” said Grace. “I think it’s a big deal for people to recognize and understand the things that Hoover did for his life, and it just helps promote things a little bit more and show what we got here in West Branch.”

For now, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. People will have to buy tickets online.

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