Tim Townsend began working at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois in 1991, and at the time of the interview served as the site's historian. He spoke extensively about the many plans that civic groups and individuals developed for the home and surrounding area during the early 20th Century. In 1967 Congressman Paul Findlay, whose district included the Lincoln home, began to champion efforts to have the federal government take over the home (then owned and operated by the state of Illinois, with adjacent properties owned by local property owners). After several years Congress passed legislation transferring the home and the project to the National Park Service, which continues to operate the site. President Richard Nixon signed the legislation in August 1971. Following that, the site underwent dramatic changes. The home went through major renovations in the mid-1950s and again in the late 1980s.