Three months before an election which could evict her from her current addresss, Melania Trump will oversee a renovation of the White House Rose Garden.
The Third Lady will overhaul the iconic greenspace adjacent to the Oval Office and West Wing, according to a source familiar with the plan.
Melania intends to restore the space to more resemble the original design and formation of the Rose Garden, established by President John F. Kennedy, and implemented in 1962 by horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon.
The renovation, which will include excavation, could take several weeks, according to the source familiar with the timeline, and the Rose Garden will, during that time, be out of commission for use. Trump has used the Rose Garden more frequently in recent weeks as a space to hold news conferences.
In the era of Covid-19, the outdoor venue provides more safety from potential spread of the virus for journalists and guests, as medical experts maintain being outside is more optimal than gathering indoors.
Trump again risks facing charges of “tone deafness” in the wake of her renovation announcement. Kate Andersen Brower, a CNN contributor and author of Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump.
“I think that the first lady should be aware that this could certainly look like another ‘let them eat cake’ moment.
I think it’s important for her to point out that this is a restoration that has nothing to do with the Trump administration, but about making sure that the White House is a pristine and beautiful home for any president who occupies it. But, yes, the timing could not be worse as the country is being ravaged by Covid and there is major economic and social upheaval.”
The Rose Garden renovation will be financed with private donations, according to two sources familiar with the project. The White House did not comment.
Mel gardening in Louboutins…
I had the honor to contribute to the beautiful & historic @WhiteHouse grounds today by planting a sapling from the Eisenhower Oak. Thank you to @WhiteHouseHstry for organizing the #PresidentialSites and to the previous first family descendants who joined us today. pic.twitter.com/uqzKxNbL9H— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 27, 2018