"Friends" to host Open House for
Jackson County Truman Courthouse

March 27, 2008 (KANSAS CITY, MO) – The historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse will be open to the public during a special open house Saturday, March 29, between 1 and 5 p.m.

Jackson County Executive Michael D. Sanders and Independence Mayor Don Reimal will speak at 2 p.m. Both will elaborate about the ongoing efforts to fully restore the Courthouse, located on the Independence Square and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.

The Friends of the Courthouse, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving this national landmark, is hosting the open house to generate interest in the renovation of this historic building. Friends of the Courthouse is accepting tax deductible donations through the Truman Heartland Foundation and is intent on bringing private, corporate, state and federal funds together to fund the renovation.

Phase I of the Courthouse renovation has already been completed; including a new roof, replacing deteriorating windows and repairing the clock tower. Phase II, scheduled to begin this spring and estimated to cost $2 million, will return the Courthouse grounds to their 1933 appearance and add 70 parking spaces around the facility. Jackson County has earmarked $270,000 for Phase II to match private and corporate donations.

Phase III will concentrate on the Courthouse’s interior in order to create appropriate business and meeting spaces. Currently, only the Jackson County Historical Society office and archives and a small gift shop are located inside the Courthouse. Phase III is expected to cost $8 million.

The facility became known as the “Truman Courthouse” after Jackson County Presiding Judge – and future President of the United States – Harry S. Truman had taken an interest in the 1933 expansion and redesign of the County Courthouse in Independence.

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