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tv   The Presidency White House History Design  CSPAN  August 27, 2018 10:58pm-12:03am EDT

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the white house historical association is bringing together people from presidential sites across the country, tuesday we will have a live coverage on how perceptions of presidents change over time and how former white house executive pastry chef who talks about working for five presidents. wednesday former press exit -- secretary joins with previous correspondence talking about why some stories are told and not others. live coverage both days tuesday and wednesday mornings beginning at nine eastern. next on the presidency, the design history of the white house and how it was entrance -- influenced by british and irish inflections. this hour-long program is part of a daylong symposium hosted by the white house historical association. thank you, for all of you sticking it out through all of
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this. i want you to know that this is your chance to ask the questions that the scholars and experts can answer. i have no background in history or scholarship, i am just a reporter. but, i really have had the privilege of the front row seat to history. first walking up that white house driveway, a few months after i graduated from college. as a news intern, for cbs, and retiring 40 years later from abc news, late in the obama administration. i walked up that driveway, early in the morning usually before good shots on good morning america. and the seven presidents i covered, covered everything from the cold war to the digital revolution. to look at that house and a look at the doorways and the
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scottish roses and the architecture around each window and watch the sun bring in pink light every morning or be there after midnight, after some kind of crisis including walking out of the driveway on september 11 2001 when i had been on air force one for about 10 hours i was allowed to stay with the president that day. the white house represents to me a bigger and broader american character. i want to begin the questioning if i could, not all that you have to answer anything, -- everything, i think the irish brought the great idea that when the white house was built it was not to represent any one of the 13 colonies or states, it was having to speak to a national character. i want to start with you, when we look at the white house what
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about it is so distinctly american from a irish or european point of view? >> the first thing is there was a journalist who name was willis in the 1840s. he was reputable, and the other bearers of his coffer was from harvard school and he was serious. he wrote a short description of the american scene on the white house and he described this as being ultimately a sufficient measure of state for the republic. that it had enough state in it and not too much. too much was a assertion of authority over people, and essentially what washington had in mind all the time was that the states could easily fracture. webster later on said that washington converted what was a congress, a contract between states into a constitution
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which is the definition of a nation which applies to individuals. so instead of passing back to the states in fact one had to go through the constitution which affected people individually. >> that is amazing, you know the roots in dublin, when you look at the right house -- white house what do you see that is american? >> it is an interesting question, what i have been doing lately is looking at the irish roots within it, and i think the houses we see that it was modeled on in many ways such as minister house, -- as lan mr. house, it is the government. -- lanister house, it is the
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government. how it expresses a american identity, i think this, in a way, there is a relative that modesty in the scale which was more than what it was originally intended to do. something on the decision to improve the house, and i felt that in the beginning, yes. >> i will bring in a british voice and get to your questions. you ever feel like when you look at the white house, what it is with all of the elements it has and is brought to it from ireland and the united kingdom, what you see in it that is uniquely american? >> what i see is a republican building, very clearly as i was
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suggesting, it was not about one sentence, the rich nobility in england in the early 18th century they chose deliberately this style. which has been based on writings which very clearly were anti-royalist. very much associated with republican ideals. one thing that they did not actually state in the inferential books they rode, was what -- wrote, which is what the star was supposed to be. rome was the ideal though, which can be taken up with the nobility in england who was associated with the court. the whole point about the turbulent time at the end of the 18th century and the end of the 17th century in england is that there was this choice between sticking with dynasty
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selected by parliament. you had this clear political dimension, i see that being repeated clearly at the end of the 18th century when washington came. >> i am going to open this up to questions from the audience, we have microphones moving around so everyone, can you raise your hand if you have a question, we will try to be evenhanded. i know this crowd, we have one question in the front. could you wait until we get a microphone sir so we can get the audio clearly reported as well. >> i want everyone to remember in this discussion of anglo- irish and everything that the house george washington originally approved was a french palace, it was not a british background. that is what he was designing,
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he designed a quirky house like that, i do not think it was ever finished but it was made in montgomery. that is what washington, he pictured a palace. there was no lafayette square or roadway to the palace. it was 20 feet higher than the highest point. >> question from the front row. >> do you get a a lot of requests at the white house and can you turn them down? or do you take everything? >> we do not take everything, we do not receive a lot of requests but we also had a presidentially appointed advisory committee. we refer them to this group of specialist who help us determine whether something is
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appropriate. >> we have a question over here thank you. >> hello, i am a high school history teacher and i am always talking to our students regarding the city that they live around and interact in. i had a question for dr. seale or anyone who wants to open. the white house as you spoke of, it is a symbol of republican government. over the years, how the white house has a balanced as of late, very differently, it being the seat of power and also being a house for the people. and i wonder, this famous story of andrew jackson and having anyone coming up and seeing the white house. and interacting and things like that, in the age of security and these kind of things.
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do you think that the white house now, in the last since september 11, has balanced the idea of it being accessible to everyone, was that its original intent for anyone who can answer the question. did they intend for the people being able to do that? >> maybe you can go with that bill? >> it was not open to the public until jefferson in 1801 because he had traveled in europe, and you know he was like the steward and you could go into the house and look at the paintings. he started that and it is more difficult today. frankly one of the jobs of the white house historically is to cross the barrier and republic to the house. everything possible to make people know all about the house because security as we all know is a way of life now in the
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century. i would say that that is the status of it now, they authorize tours and it is hard to get them. they did the best that they could. it has always been open and as they said before. can i see your house, he said why not it is your house. traditionally to the 19th century they show the east room only. it became more and more interested as we went over it more and more. in the kennedy administration, and eisenhower before it, ever wanted to see him. this was a program tour but when you talk about 1 million or 2 million a year going through the house. and president johnson, a great sensitivity to sound, he would
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try to take a nap upstairs and the steel in the house would vibrate. it would give him headaches, and i think the best is being done. it could be done. president eisenhower talked about moving into a high-rise on a lift. all of the civil war heroes and world war ii heroes like him, or wherever, he liked that idea. he quickly rescinded the proposal. >> it is interesting if you put the white house in the context of the period it was built in an -- in the 1790s. in the era of these great country estates and great leaders. in fact in ireland they were emulating and trying to create similar states as well as in great britain. these were not even necessarily
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walled off or separate from the public. washington at mount vernon was plagued by a constant stream of visitors all through his life whether they were coming back from the revolutionary war in the confederation period or as president. there was an expectation that it is private, but it is also public. it is a strange balancing act that has to be carried out where it is open, it is accessible, you are supposed to be able as a citizen to encounter the leading citizens of your day so long as you are a respectable individual. you should be able to call upon thomas jefferson or george washington and james madison within limits. certainly they did not anticipate what happened with andrew jackson with his inauguration or things of that sort. they could not anticipate the
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security issues as bill alluded to, which evolved over time. it was always a balancing act between the 2. >> we have a question right here. >> thank you. >> i have a question i have been having -- been trying to have question since november 1963. obviously by all accounts the white house is a lovely building, however, the metal doors on the north side of the white house are quite unattractive and look as though they belong at the entrance of the sears robust store, why do they throw off the white house beauty so much? why are they there? >> bill, >> they are descendents from earlier. storm entrances for bad weather, which is always a
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problem outside. it was to keep the weather at least to an extent from coming in. and now as a security implementation from the 60s. i agree with you though. if they did a good job with the handy camp -- handicap ramp i cannot fix that, i do not know. >> i can tell you that security has made a huge difference in how the white house has welcomed visitors, and the presidents i have covered over that arc of 40 years, each president has said and the first lady said this is the people's house, they want to open it. but after september 11 they called off the tours and now there is a elaborate procedure where people are allowed to
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come in, and very often evidence like when president bush welcomed the pope to the south lawn they called in 10,000 people who had to stand through the several hour process. at least they got people in there. did you want to jump in? >> it raises a interesting point which is conservation. what happened is there has been a revolutionary change, whether the weather got in in the early 19th century did not matter. it matters not because we live differently. as we live differently our buildings, to be useful have to accommodate these things, and with the principal there is no reason why modern technologies cannot be used. in a case like this it would be possible to incorporate and build in things that would not normally be visible and normally perfectly acceptable. they could be brought in.
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it is a question, as they said, these possibly dating back to the 1950s. by the time a conference of asian -- conservation possibility was brought up in terms of this. conservation is about retaining historical significance, not preserving them as such, in the 1950s it was a acceptable solution to put something as we regard as clumsy, we have moved on. it is time to conservation to move on with the building. it is a continuous flow. >> you have done restoration, do you have to balance public good or can you be true to history? >> my house was owned by the government, i bought it from the government and it was open to the public every day. when i bought the house from the government i made it a
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condition that we would allow public access but on our terms. in other words people could not just turn up every day, the demand is such that someone has to be careful because, we allow groups who are interested in that period of architecture because we find the divan so great that allowing every other immunity group to come, every day we would be inundated, and it is very hard. also the curators you have they really want to be there to answer questions, and have a genuine interest in the architecture of the period and have a lot that they get out of it. let me say something about the white house being involved in irish american relations is that it soon became clear to me
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when i became involved that the white house, we have this tremendous access every year we went to a speakers lunch. we had the president and vice president and speakers, it was evident to us that america had a very big role. it was evident to me that they -- that america had a big role for irish america and great british relations. the white house is currently iconic you know, and it is, there are many people in other areas of government. who have access on irish matters and ask what it is like. it is wonderful that you have a building that has this history and it lives and continues. you do not put it into a great
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modern tower for security reasons that would be awful. >> we have a question here. >> thank you so much all of you, i am curious because i have always been so impressed when i go to england with their ability to preserve documents, paintings, buildings, and i think that they are doing a -- that we are doing a great job of that here. i wonder since all of you are historians and preservationists, how you think we will all do moving forward, if this is an exciting time for you or a challenging time? >> any of you could answer. >> i think the white house has a huge political message of optimism and hope and vision, you look at the great cities of the united states, and afterwards, in terms of conservation and looking after things we in britain have not
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always had that optimism you have had in america. we conserve our history really beautifully but we are a lot of times not brave enough. a lot of times we go to the home of president roosevelt in hyde park, we see the amazing -- the amazing preservation and even when america was isolationist. i have seen you do those things now which has sparked the highest quality of what there is to experience. i think sometimes in britain we need to look for more inspiration to america on what you have achieved. >> it is a fascinating question as well because i think, this idea of conservation, one of
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the best definitions i got was management of change, and the acknowledgment that things must evolve and change. and i think ireland and similarly we have a mixed record, i think that there is this emerging attitude, in a way i was looking and that the bank they worked on. you saw the image i saw we have people i workstations working, it is a typical meeting of people in the room. people mentioned it was beautiful, it was bolstered with reinforce -- reinforced concrete because it could've been damaged. it underlines the staircase and we are trying to undo that. also the digital aged -- age as
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you mentioned, lasting and the things that i found is the amazing availability of historical material online and historical archival footage even the last five years. the maps and things that they can find in the knowledge that is there. that is a hugely beneficial flight of digitization. >> documents speak to me and the great thing about when i work at the national archives service is it opens at 8:00 in the morning. you can go and spend a 10 or 12 hours there, doing that sort of thing. so the accessibility of the library of congress, it is very good. that is important for someone who has to travel all over and
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only has a certain amount of time. the advantage of great britain is going back, two real things, having a magna carta and so forth. great britain is not a hugely rich country and they have had over 1000 years to conserve and produce the edification and whatever. so the difficulty there is not the will, sometimes it is the resources. it is interesting to go back and forth, that is to say family history at both sides and looking at the great documents, the bill of rights and so forth. it is accessible on both sides. it is a wide range that you have to go onward for great britain, where the focus here is in a smaller range. and i like the difference. >> a practical point on
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collection of care is we expect a little bit from buildings and the use of buildings which is something that we were talking about at lunch, it is something that i talk about with the uk and palaces like buckingham palace. it has been 50 years in development, collection care has been very much promoted by english heritage and the national trust. which are not occupied, and is something which is growing greatly certainly in the collections that i look after his daycare of objects and working places. it is completely different and it is not something that is greatly developed and it is different from the care of houses that are not lived in. you want people to be able to use the furniture, you want the
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fires to be burning in the fireplace. you want the eating to be at the right level and the humidity. all of these things that we want to in functioning houses. that house and that particular way, it is that particular thing that is in its infancy and it is gaining a lot more stuff behind it. it is experimental, it is emerging from the national trust. >> that is the point it is a working house, the white house is a working house and more. many things are done in that house. you have to regulate public access and tours and the way people access it and who accesses it. unfortunately you would like everybody to be able to, and one gets criticism because you know you cannot afford to do that for everyone. you try to educate the best you
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can and the people who are receptive to that education, he tried to encourage those institutions that will benefit from that. that is what we do in a more regulated way, i am sure her majesty does the same. >> i just want to say that it helps to educate the staff that works with you also. we try to hold handling sessions so everyone knows when they pick up a chair they need to pick it up by the seat and not the back. every little thing like that helps. in a house that is only partly uneasy and and also home it can be very -- only partly a home it is all sleep -- also a museum. >> i have a question that i have to preface. with the fact that it always comes up at the symposiums of,
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criticism of the truman redecoration of the white house. we would not have been allowed to pour it out and put in concrete so it could be better maintained. moreover mrs. kennedy's redecoration i applaud tremendously, i take issue with the comment that it looked like a country grand hotel that was run down. given at that time it williamsburg had opened in the late 30s and early 40s, americans were using reproduction furniture and quantities, they were donated to museums. i always thought the truman administration had a bad rap for reproductions, and i'll see you go back to the 19 to renovation of the white house with theodore roosevelt which is the same thing with the blue
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room furniture, it was a conjured up version of what they thought might have been there. that existed in many of the rooms. i liked your comment, i would like to never hear again on how badly they did, i think they did a good job. >> let's pass the microphone over here there were 2 hands. >> my question is a little different, we are looking at history from historical perspective and the stonemason cutting and everything, bill or anyone, i think bill is the most likely to answer my question, we know slaves were very much involved in building the white house, were they at all assisting the stonemasons in caring these very heavy stones? >> i'm glad you asked. as a matter of fact, things like the slave labor, the slave could take the job in
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conjunction with the master. and got part of the pay. what the south did not like which they were used to worthy apprenticed boys. there was a system in scotland for apprentices. they would stay on the job and the ads were over the newspaper. like bobby o'hara said his boy ran away for one have sent reward. freed slaves, 100 were hired at the quarry to clean the big mound of stoned -- of stone and they were always there. some of those people could have gone out into the world free as stonemasons. i do not know.
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i think a guy named mordechai in kentucky was a stonemason who came from here. they were very much in evidence and with all of the construction, they were in fact agents in washington that wanted to go through. they always called them hands not slaves, he said i needed 20 good hands. so the owner of the slave was dealt with and he came and worked. that is how the system worked. >> wonderful. >> could i ask a quick question, >> that is what we do at the white house we have one question. >> this is between holden and the trove, was there in age difference, i go to st. john church and latrobe is reverend there. we have a cater room designed
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by him. was there and it age difference, was one more mature, george washington like hoban and not the other. i know there was a portrait ones of him at the white house with washington at mount vernon with washington. i want to understand how he was not well thought of. >> who can take that, >> it is an interesting question i think is real problem was twofold he had a temperament. in fact he lost it very easily, he was self opinionated, he was very competent and good but as a personality he was a person who tended to lord it over others. he was bourgeois and coming at a stage and he was between the aristocracy and the peasantry.
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he was in between the 2. he was a proper rising status in france and england at the time. what was happening is that the profession of architecture was shifting from the idea of a cool partnership between -- co- partnership between them. you had the master who knew what he wanted, that was the relationship, and he knew what he wanted. and you have the person who could give it to him without telling him what he wanted. on the other hand you had lotrove coming in fully educated. he wanted a patron. he wanted someone to put him in a position like a portrait painter, he would paint the portrait and interpreted. the subject matter would be washington. but the portrait would be lotrove. it was different in the case of hoban. he was working as a apprenticed to washington and it was a partnership. at that time hoban actually temperamentally was easy-going
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and someone who wanted to please. everybody says that of him. and also he was a person who was trained, and completely competent in his own right but not interested in pushing for the lotrove did. but to hoban this was a status and a business and something he did. he stated in comfortably. if you look at the correspondence between everyone that lotrove eventually ascended everyone , he cannot hold or keep it. he is shown the way to the top of mount olympus time and time again but he cannot climb it he did not have the ability to get there. you can say that is stupid i do not think it is. i think he was in transition. a generation later lotrove was
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to be recognized as an architect in the sense instead of having a partnership to design buildings you had one person producing them. that is the fundamental line between them, age difference, he was slightly younger but not really. he was contemporary. >> we have another question here and we can get a microphone over here. yes sir, thinking appear >> a question for mr. king. -- thank you. >> a question for mr. king. i am sorry, there is a rufus king in american history i am sorry. when we have a change of the ministration here the first lady often assumes some sort of curatorial role in the white house art collection with the way things are displayed or maybe bring in new art. and what extent is the queen of
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curator of her collection and how does she interact with the collection itself? >> she is very much involved in the displays and is very much aware of what is around, and any changes made. but on the whole, they have lived and enjoyed living in the home. particularly with the rooms. and the familiarity, it is a collection, you would expect a degree of involvement. it is hard to say exactly what that involvement is because her rain is so long and things change and acquisitions were made at the early part of her rain and few acquisitions have been made towards the end of the rain.
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i think in many ways it is just as you expect a private collection and a private collector of a country house perhaps, in great britain. >> how accurate, is the crown, it looks like you can see the series of crowns it all looks realistic to you? >> i was not there, so i don't know how accurate it is. >> randall. >> the public has had these incredible expressions like leonardo da vinci, charles ii exhibition at the academy contained many of the greatest paintings of the land like someone at -- like someone like myself did not see. the royal family has made the collection available to the people and it has been a great
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success thank you. >> great. i have several questions, one here and 2 here. we have enough to get all of you. please. >> i have a question for brian o'connell. and i can listen to you forever, i was fascinated by your story of james hoban. you described him as a iris -- irish peasant, and that he went on to this wonderful architectural school and came to the united states. what were the circumstances in ireland which enabled him to move to that architectural school, did he have a mentor, was it a system in place that would have enabled that to happen? >> at the beginning of the 18th century, it was a time of philanthropy when in fact organizations in the time of the world of knowledge. organizations and societies or
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what became of them were being set up for the investigation of science in the interest of mankind. both the theories of things were improved it with the concept of improvement that everything could be improved. what you had was a gentry and an aristocracy that would contribute. the way that they would do that is to create a society, and as we outlined with the history of that, and by the middle of the 18th century they had decided then they would create a school for drawing which would include a school for architecture and drawing in architecture. they had a provision where they would admit and many -- as many boys as the society decided. and they would not have to pay the fee. in other words it would be given by the society on the basis of talent. they had a strict rule, which we had to divide earlier, they would not accept people that wanted to come for academic purposes. it was only for the improvement
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of people who were already in the system. the idea was to increase and improve and build on talent, that they would admit by application and that they would consider applications that came in and they would decide whether this person was worthy in terms of talent and ability to invite be given a place in the school. you can also come and pay. hoban was paid for with the school but he does not appear that any of the admission lists surrounded by the relevant period that would have let and enter as a free boy. once they have that they send -- they spent three years there learning drawing. the masters could take them as a support labor and they had to work for three days a week and prepare drawings. it was a strict regime. this was there and it was a benevolent society. i think it possibly comes from the fact that there was so much
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dissent at that time, religious minorities and looked after themselves that they created charitable institutions. you had this whole development that did not care -- that did not occur anywhere else. all these institutions that were for public benefit it evolved from that. and the hope that came through that, he had his sights on america already probably, this is where you could start again. he proved he could, he achieve the american dream and he did. he was a catholic present -- peasant and carpenter who took the first step and came to the united states. he joined the freemasons there, which was a general club which was a interesting aspect of the whole thing. the way in which freemasonry worked as a series of contacts and removing social barriers between people. it all works for him. that was broadly speaking the
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mechanism. >> i think it was very interesting work that it was modeled on the french group. and started by dijon, and it was from 1739 to 1849. no tuition for the drawing school. and the other thing that i think is a possibility which you asked about with the mentor. his parents grew up as farmers, the course and the state, they were the family which were influential in 18th century ireland and had property in dublin. it is very possible that there were connections there, and the fact that he trained with a apprentice as a carpenter, and he built up a association with the family.
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a very close association. it is possible there was support for him in moving to dublin. it was a aspirational jump to make that move from that kind of humble origin in the county and moving there. >> some of the hoban's warehouse servants and they lived in the gate lodge. -- were servants and they lived in the gate lodge. when they died, when the last of them did, there were 2 of them on staff in the house. they stayed and that would have provided some privilege i'm sure. >> definitely. >> we have a couple of more questions we will try to get in, yes? >> thank you. my questions i do not know if this is the right forum, most of the day we have been speaking of historical periods and it occurs to me that the architecture of the white house
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at its time would have seem -- seemed bracingly modern compared to the other urban houses of the day. and the cater house, it would've been a inspired neoclassical house. the postwar period in the u.s. is such a important period of innovation and decorative arts and architecture, and it now has approached history, the national trust is acquiring modern houses in the watergate complex now if i understand it. is there an interest in the white house collection of incorporating important historical artifacts or anything like this? >> there were some contemporary paintings acquired for the collection during the last administration. the one by joseph albert. and barbara rauschenberg and alan thomas. we again have a advisory
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committee who helps us determine what we can collect, for collection. as also a part of our collection policy, we are not able to acquire work by living artists. they have to be deceased for at least 20 years of. years of age. -- 20 years of age. >> we have a question for the gentleman in the second row? >> you already asked it. >> you cannot improve on it? >> the presidents and the first ladies, we want to encourage them to collect now and 50 years from now? >> we have one right here in the center.
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thank you. >> thank you. it has been a fascinating day, we do not always know the government would be here. the play hamilton has highlighted the fact, that it was jefferson and hamilton who traded off the location of the capital for hamiltons financial reforms. how would the white house have been different had it been located in philadelphia or new york. any speculation considering it was a different cultural environment in those colonies? >> would you like to take this bill? >> i do not have to there are other people. 2 houses were built as you know in new york and one in philadelphia. they were for the president and george washington would never enter either one. even those whom he adored and try to get him in there. more is known about the houses
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in new york, and philadelphia also it had three floors and everything. they were hell-bent on keeping him there and the last minute they thought they would work. they had hook in his mouth and that was that, but they did not do it. those houses are what it might have looked like. one is a medical college in philadelphia and the other new york style house was torn down. -- and the other house was torn down new york style. we have good records of that. >> i want to ask each one of you one of those last questions, looking forward, let me start with you olivia. looking forward, 100 years from now, will the white house, what will it be like? it will have is -- had its
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collections and husband or whoever, what can you imagine. with today's model would be the white house in the future. each of you has kind of cast forward and is giving a prediction on any other treasured homes and artwork that defines it. olivia? >> i suspect the white house would look pretty much the way it looks today. there may be renovations and modern innovations, don't you think that abraham lincoln would show up and still recognize the white house? >> might be a little bit more slick than he remember it but, washington said everything completed except the porches. the secret service in my 40 years, the park service and everyone, all of those people exert themselves in keeping it
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looking the same and trim and well-kept. it is like the capitol dome. they will not keep that out. i would be very surprised, they can build that back. >> christopher, do you think when you think of all of the great houses you have been in. do you think 100 years from now they would still have this kind of treasure? >> i like to think so, the white house is the home of the president. it is something where you say all of the great states of the world and monarchs go to america. it is the iconic center, with the actual state did. it is the center of the american government, the president's home, i would have liked to know that that still would be there.
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and needs the white house historical association with that to help with all of the things you do, i suppose they must say to you that there is this and that artifact through research and everything that is available. you might get to access or purchase a. they can evolve over the 100 years. and leave the iconic building for the american nation that it is. i can say that other buildings that i am familiar with, in the uk will do likewise. >> kathleen? >> today my job was to provide the backdrop to everyone else's discussion about objects and paintings and the building of the white house and so forth which is not my main line of country. what i look at is the angle of the american relationship.
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it is not a given of course. it was not determined by god, it needs looking at i think. the relationship between leaders does not matter as much as people sometimes think it does. it does not matter as much as leaders get together. what is important in a relationship as much as anything is the next layer down. people get in the habit of working with other people. and leaders come and go. but, on the whole the bureaucracies, or if you look at the military and navy, the british and americas work together and know each other and they know their kids and they know the common history. and sometimes one wonders when you look at the disparity of power. american empires go of course and the british empire did as
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well. empires do not stay. but for quite a time of the united states is going to be supremely powerful. they need someone to talk to. the english language is important and shared ideas are important. the fact it is the court decisions sometimes float like the magna carta. these things are important. the political culture of both sides are incredibly different. i think people made the mistake and think the 2 countries are alike. there are certain shared values and histories, not necessarily shared jokes. some irony, there is a different approach to these things. nevertheless there is enough to tie the countries together. and, i will expect to see the white house fall down when buckingham palace falls down. >> excellent. >> thank you.
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i am reminded the longevity of windsor castle for 1000 years, that particular building which has changed so much over the years. i believe firmly like lydia and others that the white house will continue broadly speaking as we sit today in 100 years time. as you were saying christopher with what your majesty said in ireland, that we should not be bound by history. i think today we have organizations like the national trust, and here in the uk and british heritage places that are taken towards preserving a collection building and having that historic minded approach. it is excellent and good but at the same time we have to make that balance right between the living building and the evolution, and have to look at windsor castle to see
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buckingham palace which was also a considerably smaller house when it started out. evolution is incredibly important to stay alive. >> michael? >> yes, touching on the same theme, i do not know what the white house will be like 100 years from now. i know something of what i would like it to be like 100 years from now. i had an interesting moment last week, i gave a talk at a pub, someone asked me if there -- is there someone designated to chase after these dogs and cats jumping on the furniture. i thought that was a good question. think about the state rooms and how nice they preserve they are as they should be, properly preserved with all of the anti- furniture and i thought oh my gosh. if fido chews on the leg of the sofa you are in big trouble. it brought me back to a
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wonderful passage in the wonderful book the presidents house. i do not know exactly how you put it, you talk about what the white house used to be like in the 19th century as a ramshackle lived in intimate home where things were changing constantly. you know people who lived there and pets were on the sofa and hair was everywhere. things changed. and now it has become something different, now in some ways in the process of preservation something is walled off from us. i would like to see a balance of the wonderful work that lydia and her team do and has been going on for so long. reservation with a little bit more of the lived in feeling. -- preservation with a little bit more of a lived in a domestic feeling of the house. >> looking forward to it? >> yes, i was picking up on the
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wind of change, i imagine again and that ability to facilitate change in the evolution of the building that a few people have mentioned. is up to the people who survive. in terms of conservation and practice, things are getting more and more sophisticated. i think that is going to help. i would imagine that the building 100 -- 800 years from now could be more robust and survive. i do think that this is this critical thing of allowing it to change. the other thing i would like to say is getting in on a wonderful tour yesterday, jefferson's idea of allowing the public in, that is wonderful. i was standing outside, and the excitement of getting into see
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the house. that is something, with communication and research and i suppose a awareness of the wonderful buildings such as these. i hope the education continues. >> brian? >> i think it was a matter of conservation policy and international is the significance of something and you protect the significance while you allow the object to evolve. you are proportionately, not allowing the significance. what is the significance of the white house? the policy adopted since the time of washington is the exterior of the white house will not be changed. no one has permitted that and even with truman he was not having that. he did alter the inside considerably and winslow in fact wanted to reuse and replace all of the material
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that was taken out. this would not allow truman to depart from office from the white house. given a harry approach to it is forget about everything and just to buy it in. most of it was dumped and went out to various military dumps around the place. and all of the new material was brought in the 1940s. of course what has happened since then is it required a new association with all of the presidents and everything happening since the truman time. going back to washington, but has not changed, i should not say him i should say the end of the beginning of andrew jackson's presidency when the portugal and the gallery and the portugal run on the north side. the gallery in the south. when it was completed that nothing really much changed since then. if you ask what the significance is the answer has been said here by several people who use the word icon.
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that is the great -- the greek word for an image which is a reflection of what you see in yourself. when an american looks and when an american -- and when the world looks at it and americans look at it they see themselves. once you change that then you have altered the sinitic and spirit think the answer is typically there is no way he could change in 100 or 200 years. the very nature of the stone and protection and coding, all of it is protectable. -- coating, all of it is protectable. the question that was not picked up earlier was the issue of the changes inside the building. and the everything that is going on. >> i will cut you off. how appropriate the last hill goes to churchill. >> the white house is a place to meet people, 100 years since
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technology will take all of us away. it creates so much history. what you will really enjoy 100 years hence, and i am proud, we have three portraits of lady presidents of the united states. >> i will ask the panel to stay seated. thank you. >> first of all, enormous thanks for a superb and masco -- masterful way to make this a family conversation. on behalf of -- of the white house historical association we have been working on this for one year. you always wonder who you will get and how it will sort out. look at this. we have scholarship and practical experience and family collections, it is a abiding link to ireland and scotland
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and the uk. we could not have expected anything this good this is a marvelous group, thank you to all of you and from all of us. and before we adjourn there is a reception as you see in the program and there is irish music awaiting you and spirits and other things. we will introduce you to the musicians and we would be remiss to not introduce you to the piper because he has been really putting in yeoman's work. that is later. while you are here still, the steward mentioned earlier the 10% discount in our shop, do not forget that. i want to add that stuart and i are sharing we have double scottish rose cufflinks that are lovely. and bill over here you are going to be doing book signings until five right? until five. by a bulk and buy a cufflink. in any case thank you for you
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all being here and sticking through the day. it has been a good day together and join us in the reception. ++x
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