Bush Library Plans

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Philip Kennicott, Washington Post architecture critic, looks at the recently released plans for the George W. Bush presidential library with an eye to how well it reflects the tenor of his presidency.


Philip Kennicott

Comments [11]

Craig from New York

Does any one else find it fascinating that there are some Italian Rationalist motives and volumes in the design? Unfortunately this style, best exemplified in the works of Terragni and Morretti to name a few, is uniquely linked to Mussolini fascist Italy. One must ask if this association is not entirely overlooked by the designers.

For someone such as A.M. Stern who is so well versed in the layered meanings of classical architecture and its various orders and mathematical reduction I think its too much for a coincidence.

Nov. 24 2009 11:06 AM
Robert from NYC

oops make that condescension.

Nov. 24 2009 11:00 AM
Robert from NYC

Will contain the book that W read? Will it be of an amusement park nature, e.g., the water boarding ride, the Cheney shooting gallery, cotton candy, Rumsfeld arrogance and condescendtion learning center? LIke that.

Nov. 24 2009 10:59 AM
Barbara from New York City

FYI...George Bush and his wife are members of Highland Park United Methodist Church on the campus of Southern Methodist University...I'm sure that played some role in their decision to build it there.

Nov. 24 2009 10:59 AM
mozo from nyc

Longstreet, you are clownshoes.

Back to topic. I am not surprised that the building will be flat and low -- just like W's intellect. As for the building's green specs: way heavy on the irony.

Nov. 24 2009 10:58 AM
michael from new york

library? one would have thought a shoebox under the bed would suffice.

Nov. 24 2009 10:56 AM
Jeremy from Upper East Side

I am actually quite curious to hear Kennicott's thoughts on the choice of Stern as the architect, the choice of "style," and how it can (or can not) speak to Bush's presidency. As a traditionalist, I have always needed to defend Classical architecture in light of its political criticisms (Lutyens in India, Speer in Germany).

But as someone critical of Bush, am I naturally going to lean towards the modern playfulness of Clinton's library?

I look forward to the interview.

Nov. 24 2009 10:47 AM

I would have thought the plans for the library would be top secret. Let's hope they have a copy of My Pet Goat and Sisters, Lynn Cheney's lesbian masterpiece.

Is Longstreet criticizing our President? Man, that's unpatriotic. Really UnAmerican. Don't you know there's a war on? I can't believe you're criticizing Obama when there's a war on. I guess you're against America winning the war.

Nov. 24 2009 10:22 AM
hjs from 11211

I would go with mostly graphic novels. that way if bush the lesser ever wanted find out what was going on in the world from 2000-2008, he would have something near his level (with a bit of a challenge.)

Nov. 24 2009 10:10 AM
Susan from Kingston

as usual longstreet, your comments are off the wall and extremely negative. if you are so unhappy, keep it to yourself.

Nov. 24 2009 10:04 AM
longstreet from NYC area

Yawn, Brian. Bush, thankfully, is history. Move on.
For kicks, let's instead speculate on how Obama's library will reflect the tenor of his presidency.
For starters, the gigantic Mao-like picture will be on the entrance facade. The building itself will have to be one of those drab, lifeless buildings found all over the USSR. We'll have his portrait opposite the Stalin-like statute in the welcoming center/ courtyard. All of the children chanting their hymns to him will be looped over the PA system.
We can have the ACORN wing and the KSM constitutional rights lecture hall. Since 35% of abortions will still be inflicted on black babies, abortion will need to be glorified, too. The impoverished brother in a hut and the illegal alien aunt should get some recognition, too. But how?
We could have the recession/ unemployment wing, next to the endless deficits section and endless wars area.
All of the Marxists he's appointed are going to have to be acknowledged somehow. By the tax-cheat section?
Obama's golf clubs and scorecards will need to be there, as well as his favorite workout machine and mirrors. A special spot for the Nobel peace prize will have to be found; I recommend adjacent to a laminated copy of his resume.
Most importantly, though, his architect is going to have to find the perfect way to honor Teleprompter.

Nov. 24 2009 09:42 AM

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