Six months after the director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum resigned amid conflicting views with Gov. Bruce Rauner, a veteran of presidential museums has been appointed to take her place.
On Friday, Rauner announced the appointment of Alan C. Lowe as the director of the library and museum in Springfield. Lowe most recently served as the Director of National Archives and Records Administration at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, a post he held since 2009. He also worked at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in New York and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
Lowe said he’ll begin his new job in July. He told the Sun-Times the Lincoln Library is “unique” because of Springfield’s connection to a president whose term was more than 150 years ago.
“I think Lincoln is unique — I think the greatest president. I think with President Bush there’s a connection. The people of Dallas feel close to him, for sure. The same is true with Reagan,” Lowe said. “I think it’s unique for Springfield because there’s an amazing connection to him, to his legacy, to his words, and I think I’ve been really working to create connections to communities.”
Eileen Mackevich, an ally of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, resigned in October because of her differing views with the governor about the future of the museum. At the time, she told the Sun-Times she resigned because she didn’t agree with Rauner’s plan for the future of the museum.
“I don’t know what the governor meant in terms of new direction but it was clear that we have to get our oars in a row if we’re going to move in the right direction,” Mackevich told the Sun-Times.