The White House Comes to College Station
The George Bush Presidential Library will soon be the temporary home of the White House... in miniature.
The White House has long served not only as our president's home but also as the most enduring symbol of our nation's capital and of American democracy itself. Every year, over one million visitors to Washington, DC, tour this stately mansion, marveling at the history contained within its walls and the grandeur displayed in every room. Yet while the White House remains one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, most Americans will never have the opportunity to visit and experience the thrill of history in the making.
John and Jan Zweifel's White House replica, hailed by presidents, first ladies, and the general public as a masterpiece in the art of miniature, has brilliantly overcome this dilemma by allowing millions of people a privileged peek into the rooms and grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The model is a faithful re-creation of the White House in a one-foot-to-one-inch scale-and amazing replica that shows the viewer much more of the White House than most people will ever be able to see in any other manner.
Using photographs, published drawings, and memories from frequent public tours, John Zweifel and his family have labored since 1962 to ensure that their replica is an exact miniaturized copy of the original, and the result is truly a wonder to behold. From the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden to the Lincoln Bedroom to the Oval Office, the White House in Miniature impresses the viewer on two levels: once for the beauty of the White House itself and again for the richness of detail that the Zweifels have so faithfully and lovingly captured. Tiny, working televisions, hand-carved chairs and tables, crystal chandeliers, portraits exactly like those that grace the White House's walls, and miniature carpets that reproduce the originals stitch by stitch-every detail exhibits a craftsmanship of exceptional quality, as well as reverential recognition of the White House's unique charm and all that the White House represents.
Considered to be one of the world's greatest miniature houses, the Zweifel's gift to the nation is the result of several hundred thousand hours of research and construction, at a personal investment of over a million dollars. Thousands of volunteers and craftspeople gave enthusiastically of their time and effort to help make John Zweifel's vision a reality. After touring all fifty states, where it was seen by over 42 million Americans, the replica exhibited in 1992 and 1993 at the Smithsonian Institution and the Kennedy, Reagan, and now the Bush Presidential Library. The Zweifel's long and triumphant quest to bring the White House "to the people" will never really end. There are always rooms to change, details to perfect, and more people to expose to the magical creation that is the White House in Miniature.* The exhibit will run from November 17, 2001 through February 19, 2002. Museum hours are Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 until 5:00 p.m. Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for students, $3.50 for senior citizens 62+ and groups of 20 or more with reservations. Texas A&M, Blinn College Students and children under 16 are free. For group tour information call 260-9552 ext. 221.
Built with private donations from thousands of people from throughout the world, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum officially opened on November 7, 1997, at a ceremony attended by President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, former First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, members of the Bush family, and distinguished guests. Since its opening, the Bush Library has hosted more than 732,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions of the region.
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum sits on 90 acres located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The Bush Library is the tenth presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and supported in part, by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The textual and audiovisual collections of the Library make it the ideal center of study for Bush Administration scholars. Its archives include more than 38,000,000 pages of personal, Vice Presidential, and Presidential papers of George Bush; 2,000,000 photographs, 5000 video tapes, 7000 volumes of printed material and 70,000 museum artifacts.
The financial support of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a model of public/private partnership. The Library is supported by the American people through federal appropriations, fees generated by admission to the Museum, and through the generosity of thousands of individuals and corporations who donate money and in-kind services to the George Bush Library Foundation to support the Library's missions.