Repairs and waterproofing planned for Abraham Lincoln's vault

SPRINGFIELD - According to state officials, a Springfield vault that temporarily held Abraham Lincoln's body after his funeral in 1865 is set to be restored.

The remains of Lincoln and his son, William, were kept in the Oak Ridge Cemetery vault from May 4, 1865 until December 21, 1865.  Illinois bid documents show that approximately $300,000 in waterproofing and repairs are planned, and Illinois Historic Preservation Agency officials say that the vault restoration should be complete in time for the 150th anniversary commemoration of Lincoln's funeral in May 2015.

A private group is also restoring the cemetery's original gateway in preparation for the two-day commemoration that aims to recreate Lincoln's funeral.  Thousands of volunteers are expected to play the roles of Springfield residents, dignitaries, and soldiers during the reenactment.

Aly Grady, superintendent of state historic sites, says construction planned during the renovation includes drain installation, waterproofing, excavation near the vault, restoring gates, and repairing the stone facade.

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