Bush home project budgeted at $7 million

The overall budget for the restoration, development and perpetual operation of the 1950s George W. Bush Childhood Home: A Presidential Site in Midland has been fixed at $7 million, according to Bill Scott, president of the project’s board of directors.

“We anticipate raising $1 million to $1.5 million in West Texas,” Scott said on Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Permian Basin Board of Realtors at the Midland Country Club. Most of the $7 million funding, including $3 million for an operating endowment, is to be raised statewide and nationwide,” Scott noted. “Our support has been unbelievable,” he said, but declined to specify the amount. “We are really happy. Our initial fund-raising campaign was far more successful than we even thought it would be.”

“This project has taken on its own life,” said Jana Tucker, who was president of the Permian Basin Board of Realtors last year when the project gained momentum. “We all feel like that if a project is worth doing, it is worth doing right and doing very well,” Ms. Tucker said. “We have had a lot of community support and a lot of statewide and national support. I feel like we have a unique opportunity to get behind this house to make it the best it can be,” she said. “It’s really the only property that is the home two presidents and two governors, a current governor and a former CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) director and chairman of the Republican Party and a beloved First Lady.”

Overseeing the restoration project is Dealey Herndon, a partner in the Austin-based Herndon, Stauch & Associates, a construction management firm. In the 1990s, Ms. Herndon was executive director of the Texas State Preservation Board when that agency oversaw the $190 million restoration of the Texas Capitol.

Working with Ms. Herndon on the Bush-home project is Austin-Fredericksburg architect Darlene Marwick, who is researching the 1950s décor and is studying Bush-family photographs from the 1950s in Midland. “There are so many things that will be so interesting to interpret. It’s a very exciting project for me,” Ms. Marwick said, “everything from the music from the period, the fashion, television becoming so popular, and radio still being, of course, popular, . . . all the new gadgets for the kitchen, new appliances and movies from the time period.”

Scott noted Joanne Langston, who is heading up the project’s fund-raising efforts, has organized “a terrific team” to fund the project.

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