Bush presidential library to have a Texas feel

DALLAS — The George W. Bush Presidential Center will tip its hat to the former president's home state, from the pecan wood paneling inside to the wildflowers, bluebonnets and prairie outside.

"I applaud the work . . . in designing a building and landscape that will capture the dignity of the office of the presidency, while at the same time being warm and welcoming to visitors," former President George W. Bush said in a statement. "Laura and I were thrilled with the plans."

Former first lady Laura Bush presided over the design process and the first public presentation of the plans for the complex — encompassing a museum, library and policy institute — Wednesday at Southern Methodist University.

She said she wanted the building to have a modern look, as her husband was the president during eight years of the first decade of this century, but still blend in with the college campus.

"I know we can't please everyone, but I think this almost does," Laura Bush said.

The complex will be on 23 acres on the east side of the campus, about five miles from downtown Dallas.

The three-story building will feature a life-size Oval Office that opens up to a Texas Rose Garden overlooking the Dallas skyline. It is expected to be completed by early 2013.

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