All elements are scratch-built; machined, carved, finished and assembled by hand from raw stock.
Railings are assemblies of individually soldered brass rods - lots of them.
The base is Black India Granite, from the same lot used to construct the Vietnam memorial wall in D. C.
Total piece count App. 1800
Overall dimensions App. 22""W X 9"H X 13"D
Total Weight App. 40 pounds
The scale is 1/96th (1/8" to 1').
All materials and methods were chosen for their archival quality.
Although the project took more than 800 hours (over approximately thirteen months), the actual construction time was balanced with research and development of working plans from very basic "public release'' elevation drawings. The model was intentionally completed on the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone.
Research assistance was provided by the Department of the Interior, the White House Curator, and the White House Photography staffs.
The end result was a model of the southern facade, with "one window" returns. My estimate is that it contains about 1800 individually fabricated pieces. All the "glass" is cast acrylic, all the rails brass rod. The base is black granite, a slab contributed by the same source of supply as for the Viet Nam War Memorial wall (it's actually a remnant from the same lot). None of the pieces are cast - everything's machined or hand carved A large concern was that it be archival quality... something my grandchildren could see exactly as it looks today.
My favorite experience from this project was the personal tour given by then curator of The White House, Rex Scouten. After a meeting with Rex and Bernard Meyer (VP of The White House Historical Association), my personal info was submitted for a security check, and I was invited to come to the front gate later that afternoon. The White House was closed to the public that day; the Clintons were still in the process of moving in. It was simply "cool" walking up that drive alone, entering the front door, and receiving a welcome by staffers. My memories of that couple of hours would fill pages. Mr. Scouten had been a member of Eisenhower's guard (Secret Service), and had been curator since Kennedy took office. He described the history in terms of individuals, and personalized the people and events we memorize in grade school.
(Note the quarter near the stairs in the picture above)
As stated, the Clinton administration was newly installed at the time of my visit. Placement in the soon to be completed White House Visitor Center was never realized.
I thought about an offering to the Smithsonian and had discussions to that end. One of their acquisition representatives told me that it would, at best, only be on display for relatively brief periods and in storage most of the time, so... this White House is currently not on public display.
Retired White House Curator, Rex Scouten said: "It's a small and beautiful piece, and should be seen by as many as possible." Unless and until some person or organization makes an agreeable offer it will, at least, be seen here on your monitor.
I hope you've enjoyed your tour of my White House.
Click here to return to the 3D gallery page