Chicago Tribune, Sunday, June 23, 1991
Edited by Bonnie Miller Rubin
Barbara Bush admires the White House replica, currently on tour here through July 11.
What, no itty-bitty Sununu?
John Zweifel decided that if many Americans couldn't get to the White House, he would bring the White House to them.
Zweifel is the creator of a touring replica of the Executive Mansion, currently on exhibit at Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Spanning over 60 feet, from its east to west wing, every detail is faithfully recreated, right down to the last tassel.
A Florida artist, Zweifel, his wife, Jan, their six children and a team of craftsmen started their project in 1961, during the Kennedy Administration. Since its incep-tion, they say they have devoted more than 400,000 hours in the name of authenticity.
Such painstaking effort was needed for the hand-carved furniture (constructed from the same woods as the originals), miniature clocks (which keep perfect time) and tiny paintings (that match the original works). Even the Rose Garden is fragrant.
More than 41 million people have viewed the exhibit, including the last three Presidents.. "This makes me feel right at home," said Barbara Bush recently. (She added that the President's office is on the button— down to Millie the dog.)
The American White House exhibition continues through July 7. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun-day; closed July 4. Admission is free. For information, call 708-673-6800.
Bonnie Miller Rubin