?`s and ANNEswers

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Deja Vu All Over Again

I’ve blogged since 2004, and I’m beginning to see how cyclical some things are. Here are excerpts from a blog I wrote on March 3, 2008 titled “Bush’s Library.”

“There is a hilarious article in the current issue The Chronicle of Higher Education. It asks readers to sketch their ideas for the forthcoming George W. Bush Presidential Library. All modern presidents have one, and evidently Bush’s will be at Southern Methodist University.

The only criterion for submitting an entry was that it had to be drawn on the back of an envelope. I see this as leveling the playing field, so that architects don’t have an edge. And, according to the Chronicle, “About 120 people sent in sketches that were good, bad, serious, humorous, abstract, or really angry.” That pretty much describes the electorate at this time.

One such entry revealed a couple small buildings above ground with an immense complex underneath. The key to galleries and exhibits included “The WMD Stockpile of Manufactured Evidence Library,” “The Big Oil Hall,” “The Telecommunications /Listening Surveillance Lounge, and the “The ‘We Don’t Torture’ Torture Viewing Theatre.” That’s certainly a lot to get on the back of an envelope. . .

While these drawings that poke fun at the president are in jest, the current proposed cost on the real thing, which apparently will be designed by Robert A. M. Stern, is in the neighborhood of $500 million dollars. I don’t think that’s funny at all.”

Now we are in You-Know-Who’s term, and I hope the Chronicle of Higher Education sends out another request for architectural drawings. I can picture cages and walls and revolving doors all done in orange papier mache in the shape of a house of cards.

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