Remember That Joke About the George W. Bush Presidential Library Burning Down?

11/19/2009 9:04 AM |

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Joker: “Did you hear about the George W. Bush Presidential Library burning down?”
Jokee: “No! Really?”
Joker: “Yeah. They said that all three books were completely destroyed.”
Jokee: “Ha!”
Joker: “And he hadn’t even finished coloring the third one!”
Jokee: “Haha!”

The third punch line to that joke, until yesterday, was that no such presidential library even existed. The recently-unveiled plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center (pictured) at Southern Methodist University in Dallas show that there will probably be at least twice that number of books in the 225,000-square-foot building, and that it will never burn down no matter how many drunken SMU frat boys attempt to light their farts next to it, because it’s basically a red brick fortress.

CultureMonster offers a quick overview of the design and how it’s in keeping with Bush family branding with its mix of Ivy League-style neoclassical quad design by New York-based superstar architect Robert A.M. Stern, and native Texan plantings by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. As much as Stern is a great architect and has surely created a very clean and serviceable design, it’s hard not to compare this frumpy contraption to the totally nuts sky-bridge-to-nowhere Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock Arkansas. I guess we should be thankful W. didn’t spring for anything so monstrously ugly as his father’s presidential library—because, you know, he has a bit of a complex about outdoing his daddy.