Rough Ride?

roosevelt-t-doll-with-bear.JPG The dream of a Teddy Roosevelt Museum on an Oyster Bay Long Island flood plain is one step closer to reality.

The Town Council has signed on to the project, a million dollars in pledges have been, um, pledged, and all that remains is designing an actual building and raising the $99 million more needed to complete the vision. [That’s more than Bush Senior’s Library cost, less than Clinton’s, but only a fifth of the projected George W. Bush Presidential Library!]

The Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot rounded up a variety of local opinion, with more skeptics than fans. Naysayers focus on traffic, parking, flooding, traffic, some more traffic, and who pays. And the environmental impact of saluting the Great Conservationist.

“If it gets the visitors they claim there will be too many toilet flushes.”

– Centre Island Mayor Jack Williams

The Mayor of Oyster Bay Cove, another nearby town, lays it out:

“I don’t understand why it’s needed and – who is going to support it? Sagamore Hill [nearby TR home] is not open every day for lack of financing so I don’t understand about the deal. “

The museum planers remain enthused The Northender wrote that the Roosevelt Association Director sold Oysterians hard:

“Mr. Bruns said that the presidential museums dedicated to other presidents are in the places they considered their hometowns. ”

Not lately. Atlanta? College Station? Simi Valley? They all exist at vaguely plausible locations near the merger of real estate and cash.

Bruns also did some Big Stickin’ touting the “threat” that the Teddyists will take their ball to Boston or Washington:

“We plan to take the reasonable time to talk with the community, to present to the community what we’re proposing. But if this becomes one of those things that is just a protracted issue, I think then it would be more appropriate for us to think about another site.”

Quite a recovery for the Theodore Roosevelt Association. Earlier this year Newsday reported [original no longer on line] that “the previous choice for president declined the job at the last minute and some historians have said the group lacks a purpose and should dissolve.” Roosevelt [and quirky Reagan] biographer was among those opposing going big with a museum.

The Association needs work in other areas. It’s web site’s “Breaking News” section urgently enthuses about a looming television broadcast. In 2003.


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