As everyone gears up for Barack Obama’s inauguration tomorrow, other work is being done behind the scenes for George W. Bush’s step into the history books. That includes the creation of a George W. Bush Presidential Library. According to Wikipedia, construction could cost between $200 and $500 million, and it will be located at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be part of the larger George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will also house a museum, policy institute and foundation.
According to the washingtonpost.com:
The presidential center building is being designed by Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture, and is not likely to be completed until 2012, according to Langdale and others. The National Archives will take control of Bush’s papers and the operation of the library once construction is completed, while Bush’s foundation will run the policy institute.
The new Presidential Library is part of a long tradition. According to the Presidential Library entry on Wikipedia:
In the United States, the Presidential library system is a nationwide network of libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). These are not libraries in the modern sense, but rather repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of every President of the United States since Calvin Coolidge.
The National Archives has a Presidential Libraries page with all the pertinent links, including that of George Bush Sr.’s library, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located at West Campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
In case one of my colleagues is ever called upon to design a presidential library, there is a handy guide from the Whole Building Design Guide folks to get you started.