Referring to the badlands of North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “It was here that the romance of my life began.”
In early August, consultants for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF) met in Dickinson for an immersion visit to become familiar with the landscape that prompted TR to make such a profound statement.
Representatives from public relations firm Fahlgren Mortine, museum planning firm Gallagher & Associates, JLG Architects, Mortenson/Ascent, and the TRPLF team members were joined by Board Chair Bruce Pitts and newly-hired COO Wally Goulet.
A day-trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park featured a visit with park superintendent Wendy Ross, as well as a hike through a prairie dog town and an unusual opportunity to view and photograph a large herd of bison congregated near the road that winds through the park.
The group also spent some time in the historic village of Medora, where they visited the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Life Skills Center.
The final stop on the badlands tour was at the original site of Roosevelt's first cabin in the badlands - the Maltese Cross Cabin at the Chimney Butte Ranch south of Medora.
The immersion visit was not all relaxation in TR’s western frontier. The following day, the group convened for a day-long session to discuss the goals and aspirations of the TRPLF, to coordinate timelines for each team’s efforts, and to identify how the various consultants will work together seamlessly and efficiently. Topics of discussion included project vision, audiences, and visitor experiences for the presidential library, as well as the construction timeline.