SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The city of Springfield could pay $20,000 per year to reopen a historic site where Abraham Lincoln once practiced law.

The State Journal-Register reports aldermen this week advanced a plan for a five-year contract with the state to keep the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices open as a visitors’ center.

The offices near the Old State Capitol downtown Springfield closed in 2014 in anticipation of a $1.1 million renovation. That work was later halted due to the state budget impasse.

The city would fund the visitors’ center through money generated by the hotel-motel tax.

Mayor Jim Langfelder says it would allow the offices to reopen. He says it’s “disheartening” for people to visit the area and see a closed historic site.

Lincoln practiced law in the building from 1843 to about 1852.