Two days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Melania Trump released a statement reflecting on her tenure as first lady of the United States. “Over the last four years, my family has had the immense honor of being able to call the ‘People’s House’ our home. We were welcomed and supported in this personal journey by a team whose dedication to the house in which they serve transcends administrations and serves as the living legacy of a building that remains the symbolic epicenter of our national life,” President Donald Trump’s wife began the statement titled “Honoring American Craftsmanship in the People’s House by First Lady Melania Trump.”
Barron Trump’s mother, 50, continued, “As First Lady, and as the temporary custodian of this national treasure, I was inspired by the example of my predecessors. Their reverence for the White House, and their love of history ensured the long-term preservation of the building in which they both served and lived. In similar fashion, the projects that I have overseen during the last four years are ones which I believe will not only preserve the house’s heritage but enhance the experience of its beauty and solemnity for generations to come.”
Melania went on to list the areas of the White House that were restored, renovated and updated during her time as first lady, including the Queen’s Bathroom, the President’s Elevator, the East Room floor, the bowling alley, and the Zuber wallpaper in the Family Dining Room. “Throughout, our goal has been to balance the needs of the present with the continuity of overall architectural tradition of the White House. This aim could not have been realized without the group of American craftsman whose knowledge and enthusiasm ensured the work was completed through the application of traditional methods that keep with the long history of the building itself,” she penned.
Melania also highlighted the installation of Isamu Noguchi’s “Floor Frame” sculpture in the newly restored Rose Garden, as well as the completion of the refurbishment of the Children’s Garden and the construction of the new White House Tennis Pavilion. “The team of American designers, builders, and artisans, who relied on locally sourced materials, created for the Nation a monumental addition to this historic home that I know will be part of its enduring legacy. Their achievement was made all the more notable as it was accomplished despite the many challenges they faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the first lady wrote.
Melania concluded her personal statement writing, “As this chapter comes to a close, it is important to acknowledge the many people and departments without whom my role as First Lady would not have been possible. Both the White House Office of the Curator and the White House Historical Association have worked tirelessly to ensure these projects met their standards of preservation, conservation, and scholarly excellence. I am grateful for those who in a private capacity have so generously donated to my initiatives and to the collection as a whole.”
Melania became the second foreign-born first lady in January of 2017. Dr. Jill Biden will become the next first lady come Wednesday, Jan. 20—Inauguration Day 2021.