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Artifacts From Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace to be Replaced by Replicas

By Heather Holland | February 13, 2013 5:18pm

GRAMERCY — The National Park Service has removed 600 artifacts from the galleries at Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace to make way for a seven-month renovation, and by the time work is done, many of the originals won't return, the agency said.

All of the artifacts in the upper and lower galleries of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Site — including Roosevelt’s Rough Rider uniform, his campaign buttons and the shirt he wore on the day of an assassination attempt — have been removed.

"The most fragile photos, documents and prints will be replaced with reproductions, so that the originals can be carefully conserved," said National Parks Service spokeswoman Mindi Rambo. “This process has allowed the National Park Service to begin working toward a new interpretive approach for the galleries that more clearly illustrates Theodore Roosevelt’s extraordinary career for today’s audiences."

For the next seven months, the Park Service will replace the existing fluorescent lights in the display cases with new LED light fixtures in order to protect the artifacts from over exposure to light and reduce heat and energy emissions.

“The Parks Service is aiming to become greener,” she said.

Both galleries will be closed to the public until mid-September, when work is expected to be completed, said Rambo. During this time, the artifacts will be stored in curatorial storage both on and off site, she explained.

While renovations take place, the museum, located at 28 E. 20th St., is still offering tours of its period rooms Tuesday through Saturday. Tours begin every hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.