Barbara Bush's presence felt at presidential library in College Station

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ABC13's Nick Natario reports from College Station, where the George Bush Presidential Library is being transformed to honor Barbara Bush. (KTRK)

Hours after her death, George Bush Presidential Library staff transformed parts of the museum to honor the former first lady.

Outside the museum located in College Station is a growing memorial filled with books and flowers.

In the rotunda, photos of Barbara Bush hang, along with flowers and three books for visitors to sign and leave her family messages.

"I think it's very moving," visitor Wynston Cooper said.

The museum extended its hours Wednesday and Thursday. It's also waived fees for the next week.

Those are moves that the staff hopes will get more people to visit and learn more about the former first lady.

"It's a great life," said George Bush Presidential Library director Warren Finch. "Not a lot of people make it to 92 and live as rich and diverse life as she did."

The moved worked, as many locals visited on Wednesday.

"It just feels like I got so close to her," said College Station resident Marilyn Smith. "I haven't really met her, but reading about her and seeing her on TV."

The museum wasn't just filled with people from southeast Texas.

Beth and Carl Reindl visited from Pennsylvania.

They had the trip planned before her death, but the news gave the visit more meaning.

"In planning our trip, we never realized we'd be here in the midst of her demise and the planning of her funeral," Beth Reindl said.

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Bush Library visitors leave tributes to Barbara Bush

The museum will close Friday and Saturday to prepare for a private weekend funeral.

The presidential library will reopen Sunday.

The books where people can leave the family messages will be on display for a month.

For more information on the George Bush Presidential Library, click here.

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Related Topics:
politicsbarbara bushgeorge h.w. bushtexas a&m universityCollege Station
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