The state’s historic sites have seen a decrease in attendance and some if it is due to the state’s budget issues. Data shows about a 9% decline in attendance at nearly 30 sites, but there were spikes in other areas.
The Illinois Preservation Agency says numerous factors are to blame. Budget cuts under the previous administration required reductions in hours at many historic sites late in 2014 and through much of 2015. In a statement, staff say if a site’s hours of operation are reduced by 20 – 25%, then some drop in attendance is likely.
Lawmakers say the state and communities need to do more to bring life back to Illinois’ rich history. Attendance at the Old State Capitol was virtually unchanged and the Dana-Thomas House saw an increase.
There was a 5% increase in attendance at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, but that’s from its lowest point ever, two years ago.