The basic function of the Library building is to provide a place for scholars to come to work in the rich historical materials housed there. Because of the necessity to provide a quiet atmosphere in which researchers and staff can work there is no general admittance to the research areas of the building.
Built by the Eisenhower Foundation, with funds raised through public gifts, the Eisenhower Presidential Museum is constructed of Kansas limestone. Originally dedicated on Veterans Day in 1954, the Museum was built to house the materials and objects related to Dwight D. Eisenhower's life. It contains over 30,000-square feet of gallery space, with exhibits showing not only the fine art objects collected by and given to Eisenhower but also the story of his careers as military leader and President of the United States.
The Museum is divided into five major galleries consisting of an introductory gallery, a changing exhibits gallery, a First Lady's gallery, a military gallery, and a presidential gallery. Of special interest and importance is the changing exhibits gallery. A different exhibit is presented periodically so that repeat visitors can always experience something new.
The Visitors Center is located on the site of the former Lincoln School, where Eisenhower first enrolled in elementary school. The Visitors Center houses our gift shop and an auditorium where a brief film on Eisenhower is shown on a daily schedule.
A typical nineteenth century home, the Eisenhower family occupied this house from 1898 until Mrs. Eisenhower's death in 1946. Her sons gave the house, on its original site, to the Eisenhower Foundation which maintained it until it was given to the Federal Government in 1966.
David and Ida Eisenhower purchased their home on South East Fourth Street from David's brother, Abraham Lincoln Eisenhower. The family moved into the six-room home in late 1898. The title changed from Abraham to Ida on April 4, 1899 for the sum of $1,000. Ida in turn sold the house to David for $1.00 on May 18, 1908. The real estate consisted of all but two lots of the block bordered on the west by Chestnut (now Kuney) Street, the east by Olive Street, north by South East Third Street and the south by South East Fourth. The Eisenhower property had between two and one-half and three acres which contained the house, a large barn, a chicken house, a smoke house, an outhouse, an orchard, a strawberry patch, and a large garden located to the east of the house.
In 1900, Grandfather Jacob Eisenhower moved in with David, Ida and their six sons. At that time, two bedrooms and a walk-through closet were added to the east side of the house. The new south bedroom was used by David and Ida, with Jacob using the smaller north bedroom. Jacob lived with the family until his death in 1906.
The north bedroom was converted to the indoor bathroom around 1908. The last addition to the Eisenhower home consisted of a small kitchen, pantry and an enclosed back porch added in 1915. The home is furnished as it was at the time of Ida Eisenhower's death in 1946. The furnishings are original to the home although some have been moved to accommodate visitors touring the home. The wallpapers in the two parlors, dining room and hallway are identical to the papers in the home in 1946.
Ida Eisenhower was the last person to ever live in the house. It has been opened to the public since early 1947, originally as a World War II Veterans Memorial and now as the boyhood home of Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States.
A self guided tour of the Boyhood home is available in Spanish upon request.
The Place of Meditation is the final resting place of Dwight David Eisenhower, October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969; Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower, November 14, 1896 - November 1, 1979; and their first-born son, Doud Dwight Eisenhower, September 23, 1917 - January 2, 1921.
Designed by James Canole, Kansas State architect, it is built of native limestone quarried in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, and features chipped glass windows designed by Odell Prather, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The windows were constructed by Conway Glass Studio of Winona, Minnesota. The marble used in the crypt is Arabian Travertine from Germany, Italy, and France.
There is a meditation portion of the building where, according to General Eisenhower's wishes, it was hoped that visitors would reflect upon the ideals that made this a great nation and pledge themselves again to continued loyalty to those ideals. The Place of Meditation was built with private funds under the auspices of the Eisenhower Presidential Library Commission.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotations - Place of Meditation
"The real fire within the builders of America was faith -- faith in a Provident God whose hand supported and guided them: faith in themselves as the children of God...faith in their country and its principles that proclaimed man's right to freedom and justice."
Abilene Homecoming, Abilene, Kansas, June 4, 1952
"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
Guildhall Address, London, England, June 12, 1945
"Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed...This is not a way of life at all...Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
Chance For Peace Address, Washington, DC, April 16, 1953
The bronze statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower by Robert L. Dean, Jr. was presented to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum by the Harry and Edith Darby Foundation. The statue depicts Eisenhower in the familiar World War II "Eisenhower Jacket." The Georgia granite base has quotations from Eisenhower's illustrious careers as President of the United States, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, General of the Army, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, and Chief of Staff of the Army.
The Sculptor: Robert Lee Dean, Jr. was born October 13, 1929, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1953 and served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force. After leaving the military service, Dean established his own financial consulting business in Mexico City. During the 1960's he became a full time sculptor and moved with his family to Florence, Italy. Dean has completed three statues of Dwight D. Eisenhower: one is displayed in Denison, Texas, the President's birthplace; the second on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy; and the third on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in London. His other major works include two statues of General Douglas MacArthur and one of General George S. Patton. His portrait sculpture works include those of Vince Lombardi, Helen Keller, and Will Rogers.
QUOTATIONS and INSIGNIA on the Eisenhower Statue Pedestal
SUPREME COMMANDER ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
February 13, 1944 - July 13, 1945
"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the great crusade"
Message to Troops of the A.E.F.
June 6, 1944
GENERAL OF THE ARMY
December 20, 1944
"I cannot let this day pass without telling the fighting men ... that my fondest boast shall always be: I was their fellow-soldier"
Address to the American Soldier
February 7, 1948
CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES ARMY
November 19, 1945 - February 7, 1948
"It is a grievous error to forget for one second the might and power of this great republic"
Letter to Walter Bedell Smith
November 28, 1947
SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
December 21, 1950 - May 31, 1952
"The members of this command are of many nations working together ... for the cause that lies nearest our hearts today -- the preservation of peace"
Statement for British Broadcasting Corporation Series "Atlantic Alliance" February 1, 1952
34th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
January 20, 1953 - January 20, 1961
"The quest for peace is the statesman's most exacting duty ... practical progress to lasting peace is his fondest hope."
Statement on Disarmament Geneva Conference July 21, 1955
Wording on the Pylon Plaques
"To this homestead divine providence brought David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Stover Eisenhower. They lived in piety and Christian service, brought sons into the world, and taught them the ways of righteousness, of charity to all men and reverence to God."
"Six Eisenhower sons grew to manhood giving honor to their parents, to God, and to the cardinal principles of our free society. Their names were Arthur, Edgar Newton, Dwight David, Roy Jacob, Earl Dewey, Milton Stover."
"The men and women of our armed forces walk amid dangers, and many gave their lives for freedom. By dedicated duty to their beloved nation, they have preserved our God-given rights, our national honor, and the freedom won by our forefathers."
"Sustained by Faith in the cherished ideals of true democracy, each American works in his daily task at plough or force or machine or desk knowing this nation will forever stand one and indivisible in devotion to the cause of liberty for all mankind."
"From the modest home built on these acres came one destined to lead in battle the mightiest array of fighting forces ever to wage war in freedom's cause. The victory secure, as President he led the effort to ensure a continuing peace for all the world."