Wednesday, August 29, 2007

National Archives-Kansas City Announces Move to Union Station

NOTE VIDEO link in online article.

National Archives formally announces plan to relocate branch near Union Station
The Kansas City Star

* Video from the Associated Press Union Station officials hope archives facility will build traffic, revenue

The National Archives on Tuesday formally announced its plan to relocate its regional branch to a site near Union Station at a ceremony where pork-barrel politics got a plug.

The federal agency, described as the “guardian of the nation’s history,” will renovate the old Adams Express Co. freight building west of the terminal. It is to become a 44,000-square-foot repository for more than 30 million records compiled in the Great Plains region dating to 1821.

The $10 million new home for the Central Plains Region is expected to open in late 2008. It will replace the facility at the Bannister Federal Complex in south Kansas City.

“The National Archives building is going to be part of the vision that Kansas City has for the Union Station and Liberty Memorial area,” Sen. Kit Bond, a Missouri Republican, told the estimated 150 people gathered for the announcement. “Our beautiful old buildings will be a vital part of Kansas City’s future while honoring and recognizing the past.”

While Bond saluted the concept and its backers, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, offered some political commentary.

“There are people who are opposed to earmarks,” Cleaver said, referring to funding that lawmakers include in the federal budget for pet projects back home. “This country is better because of people like Senator Bond who have been able to bring dollars to the city.”

While the Central Plains project is not technically an earmark, Bond helped include funding in the National Archives budget.

Cleaver’s observation won applause.

The new facility is expected provide better access to regional documents for professional and amateur historians, and also provide electronic access to documents kept by the National Archives around the country.

The Central Plains Region has most of the records collected by nonmilitary federal agencies in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska until 1990. It also has some Indian agency records from Minnesota and the Dakotas.

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