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Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: September 4, 2009
Byline: Brad Bender, Philadelphia

Letters: President's House has a major design error

Re: Michael Coard's commentary Monday, "President's House must be practical, too":

Coard claims that the design of the memorial has been criticized for "purported historical inaccuracies." But those inaccuracies are very real. Indeed, the most glaring inaccuracy relates to the curved bow window that President George Washington himself designed. In fact, historians believe that Washington's design for the President's House's curved bow window ultimately led to the design of the Oval Office in the White House.

Rather than accurately reconstructing this key piece of the President's House's architecture, however, the current design features an incorrect octagonal window with "accurate interpretive information" about the true window placed nearby.

I am at a loss as to why the designers dispensed with an accurate reconstruction of the curved window and chose this perplexing route instead, which was based on information available before the 2007 archaeological dig. It is illogical not to take advantage of the significant historical evidence uncovered by that dig.


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