The fundraising campaign for the renovation and expansion of the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center at the Chimney Rock National Historic Site has hit its $1.8 million goal.
The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation says a $75,000 gift from the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, which provided much of the funding for the center’s initial construction in 1994, pushed the effort beyond the finish line.
NSHSF Executive Director Leslie Fattig says the Foundation is very grateful for the support of donations from large charitable foundations to small local groups, businesses and individuals, which will help provide upgrades to the center befitting the historic landmark. “It’s an American icon. It’s one of those places everyone feels very emotional about if they think about the way this land was settled, and that our ancestors crossed,” says Fattig. “A lot of history there, and it’s just an amazing place.”
Fattig says the successful construction bid is expected to be selected Tuesday, with a goal of completion over six months. “Hopefully we’ll start mid-October, and go through mid-April of 2020, and they’re looking for a grand re-opening in May 2020, hopefully May 1.”