Dear Mr. President: I Designed You a Library


| 3/7/2008 3:36:40 PM


Chronicle Envelope

You can fit a lot on the back of an envelope: Return addresses, goofy stickers, or, in the case of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s erudite readers, architectural designs for George W. Bush’s presidential library.

The Chronicle put out a call for entries to a “Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest,” and its current architecture issue showcases the best of the some 120 submissions. 

Contenders include the Temple, which features a “FEMA garden awaiting attention”; the Cross Layout with a global warming sunroom and a language lab for “what I meant to say”; a missile-shaped Bunker that sports a “telecommunications/listening surveillance lounge”; the Plaza, where folks could visit the “Al Gore Lawn for meditation on what could have been had he been elected president”; and the Hole in the Ground (above), tucked behind a tromp l’oeil White House façade. 

Tour through the designs and watch writer Scott Carlson’s video parsing the history of presidential libraries and the intricacies of the various entries. Then cast your vote for the winner (free registration required).



“If you felt your vote didn’t count in 2000,” Carlson assures, “it will certainly count here. The winning designer will get an iPod Touch.”



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