G.W. Bush library plans unveiled

Nov. 19, 2009 at 8:39 PM
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DALLAS, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- George W. Bush's presidential library in suburban Dallas will glow at night as a symbol of freedom, the architect who designed it says.

Architectural plans for the brick-and-limestone Bush Presidential Center and its Freedom Hall on the Southern Methodist University campus in University Park, Texas, were formally unveiled Wednesday, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

The hall will be an airy space and its roof will be shaped like a lantern.

"Freedom is a point of light for people. That is an important part of the Bush presidency," architect Robert A.M. Stern said. "It's an optimistic image."

Joining Stern for the event were former first lady Laura Bush, Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation, SMU President R. Gerald Turner and library director Alan Lowe.

The library grounds will include an urban park and an outdoor amphitheater. The library will be encircled by a 3-foot-tall wall, as required by federal guidelines.

The building will also include solar hot water panels and a system to capture rain for irrigation.

Laura Bush called the building honoring her husband, a Republican who served two terms, "understated," while "incorporating modern element(s)."

Some neighbors have complained about plans for two parking lots across an alley from their homes.

"We'll have to work through that to get to a satisfactory conclusion," said University Park Mayor James H. "Blackie" Holmes, who attended the unveiling event.

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