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Spears, Richard WayneThe Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library: A Manifestation of Political Rhetoric in Architectural Form
MS ARCH, University of Cincinnati, 2010, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning : Architecture

The meanings behind the architectural rhetoric of presidential libraries are not always explicitly expressed. The structures derive their authority from the social context in which they are constructed and function. Unlike presidential rhetorical speeches analyzed for persuasive content, presidential libraries are virtually unchallenged when promoting a president's legacy. However, identifying their persuasive design techniques can illuminate their intentions as architectural rhetoric.

This thesis will examine how President Lyndon Baines Johnson's verbal rhetoric, political image, and administrative culture influenced the architectural design of his library. The research will draw on case studies of presidential speeches, social context, and the architectural design. These three elements are linked in a referential chain intended to persuade the public. The architectural investigation will highlight the design of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and will examine the personalities and cultural forces involved in the design process, the final built form, and the potency and meanings of the architecture.

As a product of this research, the document will explicate the significance attached to presidential libraries by the building's architects, the societal context, and, most importantly, the presidential administrations they represent. It will also explore the architecture's changing meanings as a symbol of an administration's legacy when a presidency fades from everyday memory to history. As a result of this inquiry, we will better understand the meanings society instills in public buildings and how presidential administrations promote their legacy through the architectural rhetoric of presidential libraries.

Committee:

Nnamdi Elleh, PhD (Committee Chair); Patrick Snadon, PhD (Committee Chair); Judith Trent, PhD (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Architecture

Keywords:

Presidential Library;Architectural Rhetoric;Lyndon Bianes Johnson Library and Museum;Architecture;Politics;American Presidents

Wonderly, MeghanA Son's Dream: Colonel Webb Cook Hayes and the Founding of the Nation's First Presidential Library
Master of Arts (MA), Bowling Green State University, 2017, History
Today presidential libraries are expected from every former president. Presidents begin to plan their libraries before exiting office. It was not always so. Over time, the American public and their government altered their views of presidential documents. For years, presidential documents had been considered personal property, so former presidents did as they wished with them. During his presidency Franklin D. Roosevelt created the National Archives to preserve presidential papers. His presidential library was the first in the federal presidential library system and therefore receives much recognition for being the first presidential library. However, twenty years before Roosevelt’s library existed there was the Hayes Memorial Library and Museum. Now known as the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Roosevelt used it as a model for his presidential library. Therefore, it influenced the federal system of presidential libraries. This project argues the Hayes Memorial Library and Museum exists due to the determination and resourcefulness of its founder Colonel Webb Cook Hayes. It further states that by creating the first presidential library, Webb influenced the federal presidential library system. This project analyzes the creation of the Hayes Memorial Library and Museum, following its journey from conception to fruition. This thesis first outlines the life of founder Colonel Webb Cook Hayes, revealing what led him to create the memorial: influences that shaped his interests, sources of his power, and passions that drove him. Then the text examines the difficulties surrounding the creation of the Hayes Memorial. It was managed and owned by the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society. Because no presidential library existed before it, the Hayes Memorial had to become the model for others to follow. This project follows the complications that arose due to the innovative concept of a presidential library and how Webb assisted in managing them. The sources for this project include Hayes family papers, local collections and historical newspapers. It also includes various texts on the history of presidential libraries, place, local history, and memory. Gathering these sources and examining them together sheds new light on the creation of the presidential library concept.

Committee:

Rebecca Mancuso (Advisor); Nicole Jackson (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History

Keywords:

president; Hayes; library; presidential library; presidential museum; museum; history; military; Ohio; Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society; Webb; Colonel Webb Cook Hayes; Rutherford Birchard Hayes; Franklin Delano Roosevelt