LBJ Library will unveil new exhibits after year-long renovation


A construction worker carries supplies down the staircase in the Great Hall of the LBJ Presidential Library. The library is in the final phase of a major redesign and will reopen on Dec 22, which would have been Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday (LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson).

Bobby Blanchard

The Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is getting a new look later this month — and it is coming with a price.

When the LBJ Presidential Library unveils its new exhibit Dec. 22, the library will begin charging admission. Anne Wheeler, spokesperson for the LBJ library, said admission will remain free for students, staff and faculty with a UT ID. Admission prices for others range from $3 to $8. Previously, the LBJ Presidential Library was the only one of 13 presidential libraries that offered free admission. 

Admission to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum ranges from $3 to $6 while admission to the John F. Kennedy Museum ranges from $9 to $12.

Starting in December 2011, the library began undergoing a $10 million project by the Gallagher & Associates design studio to offer more interactive, technological exhibits.

Mark K. Updegrove, LBJ Library director, said the redesign of the library will provide context to legislation passed during the Johnson administration.

“Our goal is for visitors to better understand this largely misunderstood president,” Updegrove said in a statement. “Exhibits will explore all aspects of Johnson’s presidency, including the Vietnam War. President Johnson insisted that the LBJ Library present an unvarnished look at his Presidency — the triumphs and the turmoil. Now we share this story with new generations.”

During the design of the new exhibit, the library consulted with historians in order to ensure both accuracy and independency.

Some of the new features include access to previously-unavailable private telephone calls, an interactive decision-making Vietnam exhibit and more social media interactivity.

“President Johnson wanted the Library to use the best technology available, giving visitors a comprehensive, engaging experience,” Larry Temple, chairman of the LBJ Foundation, said in a statement.

Along with never-before-heard audio, the library is also now offering new videos on the Johnson administration.

Printed on Friday, December 7, 2012 as: LBJ Library opens new exhibits, will begin charging for admission