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Sequestration closes Truman Farm Home, cuts hours at Truman Home

Updated: 2013-03-14T22:35:12Z

By BRIAN BURNES

The Kansas City Star

The ongoing sequestration deadlock in Washington will shut down the Truman Farm Home in Grandview and limit public access to the Truman Home in Independence.

Beginning March 24, the Truman Home at 219 N. Delaware Ave. will be closed on Sundays, Mondays and federal holidays.

The Truman Home in Grandview, which traditionally opens for summer tours, will not open. The grounds at 12301 Blue Ridge Blvd. will remain accessible, but without funds to hire seasonal staff, tours of the home are no longer possible, according to Larry Villalva, Harry S Truman National Historic Site superintendent.

The closings were ordered “with a heavy heart,” Villalva said in a written statement.

The sequestration requires that the National Park Service’s budget be cut 5 percent.

Also closed will be the Noland Home at 216 N. Delaware Ave., just across from the Truman Home.

The two-story residence, recently renovated and opened to the public, was the home of Nellie and Ethel Noland, two of Harry Truman’s cousins. The future president often visited his cousins while courting Bess Wallace, who then lived across the street in what is now the Truman Home.

The historic site’s Visitors Center at 223 N. Main St. in Independence also will be closed on Sundays, Mondays and federal holidays.

More than 5,000 visitors will be turned away by the closings, Villalva estimated, and area economies will be affected. In 2011, visitors to the Truman historic sites spent $1.9 million at local restaurants, hotels and other attractions, according to park service estimates.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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