The New Bush Presidential Library: Bunkers, Crosses and Outhouses

The New George W. Bush Presidential Library

Now that the George W. Bush presidency is almost over, the world needs a place to archive the legacy of the 43rd president. That place will be at Southern Methodist University, in a building that will be designed by Robert A.M. Stern of Yale University. That new building will probably cost $500-million dollars. The agreement to house Bush’s Presidential Library at SMU has been met with much dismay by some of the university’s faculty and by disapproval from the United Methodist Church.

To some faculty members at Southern Methodist, the most troubling element of the project is a conservative policy institute that will be affiliated with the library and museum. Unlike similar think tanks and academic units connected to the presidential libraries of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, the institute created by George W. Bush will not be governed by Southern Methodist. Instead, the institute’s personnel will report only to the Bush foundation.

The Chronicle of Higher Education invited its readers to send in their own ideas about how that building should be designed, and invited people to send in their designs on the backs of envelopes. About 120 people sent in sketches that were good, bad, serious, humorous, abstract or really angry. Their designs took the form of toilets, bunkers, crosses, and W’s, some crudely drawn and some very elegant.

A sampling of those designs is displayed in The Chronicle on these pages.

The New Bush Library: Bunkers, Crosses and Outhouses

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