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US First Lady pays last homage to workers in White House

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The United States First Lady, Melania Trump has acknowledged the departments, both the White House Office of the Curator and the White House Historical Association that worked tirelessly to ensure projects met their standards of preservation, conservation, and scholarly excellence.

The First Lady said on Monday, as the temporary custodian of national treasure (White House), she was inspired by the example of her predecessors, their reverence for the White House, and their love of history ensured the long-term preservation of the building in which they both served and lived.

Melania Trump listed the projects that she has overseen during the last four years. “Are ones which I believe will not only preserve the house’s heritage but enhance the experience of its beauty and solemnity for generations to come.

“In 2018, we completed the first full renovation of the Queen’s Bathroom since the 1950s. Our goal of updating and restoring “The President’s Elevator,” which is used by the First Family, visiting dignitaries, and White House staff, was accomplished in the same year.

“In 2019 we embarked on a several months-long restoration of the East Room floor, which brought to life the true magnificence of this historic space. This was done in tandem with work performed on the marble floors of the State Entrance and Hallway.

“These are the first areas to greet all visitors to the White House, and the impact of the painstaking work of re-grouting, restoring and then re-polishing them has been profound, through a team of dedicated advisors whose passion rose above mere cosmetic alterations, my attention was brought to areas of the house which were in great need of structural restoration and preservation”, she said.

She added that the Bowling Alley also underwent a full renovation in 2019. “I hope it will be a space that is enjoyed by all who use it. The restoration and conservation of the priceless Zuber wallpaper in the Family Dining Room, perhaps the most ambitious project of the Administration, remains to be completed, and will be, I hope, admired by all who see its beauty.

“The advice and input of the White House curatorial team was critical to the success of such endeavors, and it was with great pride that I was able to work with them directly to renovate their offices and ensure they had the necessary archival and curatorial infrastructure to enable the continuation of their invaluable work on the collection”.

She noted that her goal could not have been balance the needs of the present without the continuity of overall architectural tradition of the White House. “This aim could not have been realized without the group of American craftsman whose knowledge and enthusiasm ensured the work was completed through the application of traditional methods that keep with the long history of the building itself.

“The team of American designers, builders, and artisans, who relied on locally sourced materials, created for the Nation a monumental addition to this historic home that I know will be part of its enduring legacy. Their achievement was made all the more notable as it was accomplished despite the many challenges they faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic”, she said.

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