JACQUELINE KENNEDY AND THE RESTORATION OF THE WHITE HOUSE - A MODERNISATION PROJECT OR A POLITICAL ACT
Jacqueline Kennedy believed that every tenant of the White House was obliged to take care of this residence, and even more, to leave a part of his own self there. That is why she treated the restoration of the Executive Mansion as her project. The First Lady started with the private quarters, as it was essential to her that her children could come from Joseph Kennedy's Florida estate and the whole family could live together. She wished to transform that neglected building into a cosy, yet at the same time classy house. A famous Georgetown designer- Sister Parish was to fulfill this difficult task. Soon Jacqueline Kennedy saw the necessity of the renovation of the White House official quarters as well. The First Lady's project gained a wide support of not only mighty art connoisseurs, but also of not that well-to-do people. Thus, in no time appropriate funds were raised and special commissions created. Everybody wanted to help. Yet, the renovation would not have been possible without the help of two outstanding people: Henry du Pont and Stephane Boudin, who made the greatest contribution to the restoration of the historical building. On February 14, 1962 Jacqueline Kennedy took Americans on a television tour of the White House, showing them what had already been done. About eighty million people watched the programme with pride in their hearts. The Executive Mansion functioned as a stage for countless cultural and political events - adding to the prestige of John Kennedy' administration, especially at the most difficult moments. Thus, the project which started as strictly aesthetical, soon acquired an additional political dimension.
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