Opened in 2005, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is in Springfield, Illinois, lovingly nicknamed Lincoln Land. Lincoln called Springfield home for nearly a quarter of a century before making the move to the White House in Washington, and his legacy lives on through the galleries, productions and exhibits in this state-of-the-art facility.
Lincoln led the country through one of its most tumultuous periods, and now, more than 150 years after his passing, this library and museum in the president’s former hometown continues to pay homage to one of America’s greatest leaders by taking visitors on a journey that celebrates his life and legacy.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a part of the State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The 200,000-square-foot complex includes an archive, a library and a museum that all tell Abraham Lincoln’s great American story. The library houses the more than 126-year-old Illinois State Historical Library, which features a Lincoln collection of more than 50,000 items and millions of items that relate to Illinois history, and the museum features public experiences, galleries and theater presentations.
In keeping with Lincoln’s legacy of bringing people together — from saving the Union to abolishing slavery — the library and museum opens its doors to groups and guests to gather and meet in its eight variable meeting and event spaces spread among both the library and the museum sections of the property.
The service and setting make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a special place to host events. The library features venues perfectly suited for daytime and evening meetings and events; daytime meeting attendees also have the option to visit the museum as meeting schedules allow. The property also offers the museum as a venue for special evening events that will be sure to go down in history.
Library Meeting Spaces
Home to the world’s largest collection of Lincoln-related documents, artifacts and books, the library at the complex offers soaring atriums and a glass-and-stone rotunda that makes it perfect for daytime meetings and evening events. The building features six venues, including the Lincoln Reception Room, for up to 100 guests; the Lincoln Atrium, for up to 250 guests; the Classroom, for up to 50 guests, which can be divided into two separate rooms; the Multipurpose Room, for up to 100 guests; the Reception Gallery, for up to 100 guests; and the Governor’s Conference Room, for up to 20 guests.
Museum Meeting Spaces
The museum at the center was designed, created and produced by BRC Imagination Arts. The building offers two meeting spaces, including the Union Theater, which features a 250-seat theater with a stage and audiovisual capabilities, and the Plaza in the center rotunda of the museum for evening events for up to 500 guests. The Museum Plaza is bracketed by replicas of Lincoln’s Indiana boyhood home, and special add-on rentals to the plaza include entrance to the exhibits, theater presentations and additional programs.
Pleasing Presidential Palates
Lincoln was a notoriously hearty eater, with a notable fondness for bacon, chicken fricassee with biscuits and oyster stew. Though the museum’s designated caterer, Secret Recipes, will gladly whip up some of the president’s favorite feasts, it also offers sample menus for clients, and the chef will sit down with customers to create customized menus based on the client’s vision for the meeting or event — from luncheons to passed appetizer receptions or plated dinners. Meeting groups can also opt to use their own outside caterer for an additional 25 percent surcharge, provided the caterer carries all the appropriate licenses and insurance. Alcohol is allowed.
Event and meeting guests don’t have to look far to find entertainment during normal business hours at the museum and library. Museum admission is only $15 for guests, and for a small additional cost, groups can visit the exhibit “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” to see props and costumes from Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” within a restored passenger train station. Groups can book a 30- or 45-minute history lesson with one of the museum’s historians on one of seven topics or head off property to explore more of Lincoln’s historic hometown, at sites like the Lincoln Tomb or the Old State Capitol.
Evening events allow groups to have exclusive access to the museum and also afford the chance to customize the venue with additional touches such as extended hours at the museum store with a 10 percent discount for attendees and exclusive actor performances. A number of performances are possible, depending on availability of actors. They include a one-woman performance of what it was like to be a Springfield housewife during the mid-1800s, an interactive performance where guests walk through the Cabinet Room while an actor brings to life what took place during the Emancipation Proclamation discussions or an interactive performance where guests are transported back in time to Ford’s Theater the night of Lincoln’s assassination.
A Presidential Package
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum recently added two packaged event options for groups. Luncheon at the Library and To a Tea are held in the library’s Lincoln Reception Room and offer groups of 30 to 60 guests a meal — a light meal for the tea and two buffet menus from which to choose for the luncheon — with linens, china and floral arrangements on tables. Both packages are booked at one set price per person and include a welcome by a museum representative, museum admission and a souvenir. Larger groups may be accommodated in another venue as available.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Type of Venue: Off-site, library and museum
Nearby Accommodations: President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree