Land donated to Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora

The donated land is for shared parking, hiking paths and an enhanced access road to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre and adjacent presidential library.

Theodore Roosevelt library sketch.jfif
Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta sees the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library as a simple complement to the rugged North Dakota Badlands. The library will be built in Medora near the gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and is slated to open in 2026.
Sketch courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation
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MEDORA, N.D. — The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, which owns and operates the Medora Musical at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre, has donated 3.5 acres to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.

The donated land will be used for shared parking, walking and hiking trails, and a redesigned entrance road to the adjacent attractions on the southwest edge of Medora. The presidential library is scheduled to begin construction in 2023 and open in 2026.

“The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and Presidential Library are crucial partners,” said Linda Pancratz, board chairwoman of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation. “This gift makes clear that our success is shared — for Medora, Billings County, North Dakota and our nation.”

The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, which operates many of the tourist attractions and accommodations in Medora, and the presidential library are natural partners, said Tim O’Keefe, chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

“The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation believes in the T.R. Presidential Library,” he said. “The gift of this land is just the start of a mutually beneficial relationship as interdependent neighbors and partners.”


The two organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding. The agreement creates an access easement for the library’s use of Chateau Road.

The Burning Hills Amphitheatre
The Burning Hills Amphitheatre in Medora, North Dakota.
Andrew Wernette / Forum News Service

Other agreements are in the works, including an operating agreement as well as agreements granting temporary construction access, water and other utility easements.

The neighboring organizations are in the planning stages of making both the amphitheatre and the library site accessible by car, bike, horse, and hiking paths.

Plans call for drop-off zones and shared parking, in addition to covered parking and visitor passages between the two sites.

Randy Hotzenbuhler, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, noted that the organization was founded in 1986 by the late Harold Schafer, a North Dakota businessman and philanthropist.

“It’s incredible to know that 36 years later Medora will be home to a presidential library,” he said.

Those wishing to donate to the presidential library can go online to .

Patrick Springer first joined The Forum in 1985. He covers a wide range of subjects including health care, energy and population trends. Email address:
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