The Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Museum has won recognition for both its entertainment
value and its scholarly appeal via two prestigious
awards announced Wednesday.
Bob Rogers, head of BRC Imagination Arts, the firm
that designed the high-tech museum, said the
simultaneous honors highlight the impact of the museum's
"Showmanship Meets Scholarship" approach to presenting
The museum has been given the National Award of
Achievement from the Lincoln Group of New York. The
group is a nationwide society of scholars dedicated to
the study and discussion of the life and times of
The award, given annually to a literary or artistic
project, honors the Lincoln museum for bringing the
history of Lincoln to the American people, according to
a press release from BRC.
The museum also won a top honor from a group in the
entertainment field - the TEA, formerly known as the
Themed Entertainment Association.
The Lincoln museum is one of 13 recipients of 2005
Thea Awards for achievement in the creation of
compelling places and experiences.
"(TEA) is the equivalent in our industry of the
Motion Picture Academy," which awards the Oscars, Rogers
said. "It's a competition of the best of the best in the
This year's awards recognized accomplishments in
seven countries for sites ranging from amusement parks
Rogers said the TEA doesn't select winners on a
categorical basis. "First, they find the best in the
world. And that's why this is so huge. If we were only
competing against museums, that would be one thing. But
we were competing against the best in any category,
period," he said.
Other recipients of this year's Thea Awards include
Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., "The Curse of DarKastle -
The Ride" at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., "Fear
Factor Live" at Universal Studios in Hollywood, "Images
of Singapore" at Sentosa Island in Singapore and "The
Lifeline Table" exhibit at the Churchill Museum and
Cabinet War Room in London.
The awards will be presented at a black-tie gala on
March 18 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
Rogers said representatives of the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency probably will attend the ceremony,
which he equates to Oscar night.
He added that he doesn't know of any other
presidential museums that have received Thea awards.
Rogers said the award is a compliment to the vision
and determination of the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency, which worked closely with BRC during the
"I can't tell you how proud we are to be associated
with this thing. ... It's not our award. It belongs to
the whole project," Rogers said. "Every single person
and company and organization that worked on it shares
equally in that award.
"To simultaneously receive this and an award from a
scholarly organization is a big, huge deal. We're just
flabbergasted," Rogers added.
Amanda Reavy can be reached at 788-1525 or