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updated: 2/28/2014 4:14 PM

Restoration work underway at Lincoln's tomb

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  • David Giese applies black paint to the ceiling of a hallway at the Abraham Lincoln tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.

      David Giese applies black paint to the ceiling of a hallway at the Abraham Lincoln tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
    Associated Press

  • A statue inside the Abraham Lincoln tomb is covered during painting and restoration work in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. The tomb is undergoing a $700,000 interior restoration that is expected to finish in April.

      A statue inside the Abraham Lincoln tomb is covered during painting and restoration work in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. The tomb is undergoing a $700,000 interior restoration that is expected to finish in April.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- A $700,000 restoration project at the temporarily closed Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield is expected to finish in April.

The interior of the tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, which has been closed since December, was wrapped in plastic this week, according to a report in The (Springfield) State Journal-Register.

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Crews are working to fix plaster molding and repair cracks in the tomb's marble walls and repairing the ceiling in the rotunda as well as the tomb's burial chamber. They're also adding LED lighting and fresh paint.

"This is as close as we can get to the original color, and it's beautiful," said Candy Knox, the site superintendent.

The tomb was built in 1869 and houses the bodies of Lincoln, along with his wife Mary and three of their four sons.

About 350,000 people visit each year.

"There hasn't been a lot of work done over the past few years, and things have deteriorated. There's also been some water damage," said Felicia Burton, a project manager with the state Capital Development Board.

Edward Magee, a foreman with Continental Decorative Painting in Chicago, is one of the workers who is helping with the project.

"It's an honor to work here," Magee said. "There's only one Abraham Lincoln and only one Lincoln's Tomb."

Authorities are restoring the tomb ahead of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death in April 2015.

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