Foundation Plans to Build Theodore Roosevelt Library in 2019

Construction to begin next year on the estimated $100 million facility in western North Dakota

The foundation for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library says they hope to begin construction next year on the estimated $100 million facility in western North Dakota.

The library will honor the man who served as president from 1901 to 1909. He was born in New York City but retreated to his ranch in the Badlands of North Dakota for most of two years after his first wife and mother both died on the same day in 1884.

Foundation CEO Wally Goulet told the Bismarck Tribune that 2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of the former president’s death.

The foundation has added three new members to its board of trustees, including the mother of three of Roosevelt’s great-great-great-grandchildren.

“Theodore Roosevelt was a model of leadership, citizenship and service, and my great hope is that his library will become a hub for the advancement of these American ideals,” said Serena Roosevelt, wife of direct descendant Theodore Roosevelt V.

Goulet said the foundation has been building up their national board, and new members are coming from across the United States.

The foundation has collected $2 million in private donations to date. Goulet said the state Legislature has made $10.5 million available for the complex, and the city of Dickinson has promised a $3 million contribution.

Goulet said up to 80 percent of funding is anticipated to come from those living outside of North Dakota, once the national awareness campaign launches.

“There are so many (Roosevelt) enthusiasts across the country,” Goulet said.

The proposal is to build a working library, exhibit spaces and an auditorium on Dickinson State University’s rodeo grounds. There are also plans for a reconstruction of Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch cabin.

The foundation will develop a timeline for the project in February.