Blacksmith Shop Will Be Closed During Repairs to Boardwalk
Contact: Adam Prato, (319) 643-7855
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site will begin repairing the wooden boardwalk and access platform to the Blacksmith Shop on April 17, 2007. The Blacksmith Shop will be closed during the repairs, which may take up to thirty days to complete. Access to the wheelchair ramp to the Schoolhouse will also be blocked during the repairs, though the Schoolhouse will remain open and accessible by its front steps. Staff will replace the deteriorating planks that pose a tripping hazard and make wheelchair use difficult. They will also re-grade the transition between the boardwalk and the shop’s entrance to improve access by visitors who use wheelchairs or have difficulty walking. The project is part of a nationwide initiative to improve accessibility at all National Park areas. “We apologize to our visitors for any inconvenience the repairs and closure might cause,” said acting superintendent Neil Korsmo, “but when completed, the Blacksmith Shop will be more easily accessible to everyone.”
The Blacksmith Shop was built in 1957 as part of the effort to commemorate the life of Herbert Hoover in West Branch. From 1871 through 1879, Herbert Hoover’s father Jesse Clark Hoover owned and operated a blacksmithing and wagon repair shop, which was later moved and then burned down, on the lot adjacent to the present blacksmith shop. The wooden boardwalks are part of the historic and commemorative landscape of the National Historic Site. The city of West Branch built wooden sidewalks from the 1870s until 1908, when the city started replacing them with cement sidewalks.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 of I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.