National Tribune, 2/9/1888

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From the National Tribune (Washington D. C.), 2/9/1888, p. 7

LIBBY PRISON.

A Scheme to Place that Building on Exhibition in Chicago.

Preliminary steps have been taken for the formation of a corporation whose object is the purchase and removal to Chicago, Ill., of the famous Libby Prison of Richmond. The gentlemen who figure as the Commissioners and who are instrumental in organizing and developing the scheme are Messrs. Wm. H. Gray, Josiah Cratty, John A. Crawford and Charles K. Miller, all Chicago men. The company will have a capital of $400,000, and it is understood that all the stock has already been applied for. The old prison is now the property of the Southern Fertilizing Co., and the owners have given the Chicago parties an option for 30 days on the property for $23,000. Mr. Gray says: I have consulted with the architects, and they inform me it can be taken down, removed to this city and rebuilt just as it now stands. We - that is, the company - propose to number every brick, stone and shingle. The building will be taken down in sections; the material will be boxed up and transported by rail to Chicago. We will carefully draw every nail that has not rusted away; we will bring up the mortar and use it as far as possible in the rebuilding. Every beam, joist, door and window will be set in place. The enterprise will cost about $200,000. We will surround it with another building 200 by 100 feet, with a glass roof, and on the wall opposite the rear of the prison we will have painted a panoramic view of the James River and the country beyond. It is our intention to make an elaborate collection of relics of the rebellion; in fact, make it a perfect museum. We will have panoramic views of the engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac and other well-known events of the war. I have been informed that some of the Richmond people will kick, but it will do them no good.

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