An Opening Success
In 2001, George W. Bush Childhood Home, Inc., the nonprofit entity that owns and manages the Bush Childhood Home, purchased the historic home and a neighboring home which currently serves as the visitor center, gift shop and administrative office. In July of 2003 it passed the $1,000,000 mark in fundraising. After 5 years of research, documentation and restoration, the home was officially dedicated on April 11, 2006. Former President George H. W. Bush, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush gave opening remarks at this event attended by several hundred people. Since then the home has received over 25,000 visitors from every state and over 40 foreign countries.
National and State Recognitions
A comprehensive Historic Structure Report for the preservation of the Bush Childhood Home was completed and delivered to the Texas Historical Commission. This detailed document addressed the potential preservation and goals of the Project as well as the history of the Home and the Bush Family. The Master Plan/Historic Structure Report was partially funded by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The home is now on The National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. The Texas Historical Commission marker was dedicated in August of 2008.
TBG Partners, a Texas-based landscape architecture firm, worked with Herndon, Stauch & Associates and Rhotenberry Wellen Architects to develop the comprehensive Site Plan for the Project. The plan incorporates the two adjacent neighborhood homes owned by George W. Bush Childhood Home, Inc., as well as the leased parking area at the end of the block. Most significant to the Bush Childhood Home itself, it included replicating the Bush yard as it was between 1951 and 1956. Phase I of the Project includes the parts of the Site Plan immediately around the Home.
The City of Midland has tentatively agreed to close one half of the side street by the Bush Childhood Home so that the street can be used for visitor crosswalks, for events, and for interpretation. The street that will be closed has already been closed across Ohio Avenue to accommodate expansion of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity so traffic patterns will not be disrupted by the closure. The Project Team eventually hopes to find a 1950s car like the one owned by George and Barbara Bush.
How Challenging was This Restoration?
It was quite a challenge! The Bush Childhood Home had the majority of its original architectural details intact, so a true restoration was possible. However, every detail presented a challenge in this small house. From the foundation to the roof, every aspect of the house required attention after years of alterations and the impact of natural deterioration. You name it and we found it – hazardous materials, water damage, floor patching, a bathroom addition, heavy paint on the interior natural pine paneling, roof structure issues, and a long list of restoration and preservation details that were faithfully addressed to recreate the 1950s era. This small house was lovingly brought back to its earlier life as a home to a great American family.
A 1950s Restoration
The George W. Bush Childhood Home is one of the Nation’s first 1950s residential restorations. The Department of Interior’s 50-year standard for initial consideration for the National Registers means that few buildings from 1953 or later have been considered. A few museums and exhibits have addressed the 1950s, examples being the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum’s Davy Crockett Exhibit last year. However, this may be the first true 1950s historic home restoration and is certainly the first Presidential Home from the 1950s. The period is fun to interpret and tells us a great deal about the influential childhood years of a generation.
We Need Your Donations
The goal is to raise $6,000,000 over the next three years to begin Phase 2.
Every dollar we receive means we can implement more of the Master Plan and Historic Structure Report and do a better job of interpreting this special family. Phase I is complete, but we would like to expand the Home Restoration to include more furnishings and exhibits. We encourage you to give today.
Tues–Sat 10 AM – 5 PM, Sun 2–5 PM
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day
1412 West Ohio Avenue
Midland, Texas 79701
Phone: (432) 685-1112