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JFK Library unveils new museum wing

Caroline Kennedy, with students from the Winship School in Brighton, cut the ribbon to open the new 30,000-square-foot wing. Caroline Kennedy, with students from the Winship School in Brighton, cut the ribbon to open the new 30,000-square-foot wing. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
May 5, 2011

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The newest wing of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was opened yesterday in an official ceremony, adding 30,000 square feet to the building at the edge of Dorchester Bay.

The wing boasts a classroom, a staging area of exhibits and curatorial work, and a temporary exhibit gallery, library officials said. Half of its space will be used for archival storage, they said.

“I am proud to open this addition that provides essential storage space for the historical treasures housed in this library and will allow it to fulfill its mission as the dynamic center of education that my parents envisioned,’’ said Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the slain president and president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

The federally funded addition was built after a 2001 review by the National Archives and Records Administration that found the storage problems were the worst in the Presidential Library system. Now more than 20,000 artifacts from the collection will be stored in the wing.

“This newest addition ensures that the library has museum-quality conditioned space to protect and preserve the treasures from John F. Kennedy’s life and times and creates new opportunities to engage the public in the story of his historic presidency,’’ said Tom Putnam, director of the library.

JENNA DUNCAN