You would think that the haters would have learned by now – First Lady Melania Trump can take care of herself in the midst of a storm of criticism. An example emerged Thursday when she tweeted about her latest project. She is supervising the construction of a tennis pavilion at the White House. It is being paid for with private funds, not taxpayer dollars.
Melanie Trump broke ground on the South Lawn last October and said at the time she hoped “this private space will function as a place to gather and spend leisure time for First Families.” Like the first ladies before her, she is making the White House a family-friendly home. For example, the Obamas built a play space for their then young daughters, complete with a large swing set. At the time of the groundbreaking for the new tennis pavilion, Melania took some heat for this because it was during Impeachmentpalooza. The plans are for the pavilion to unify the tennis court and two existing gardens.
According to CNN, a June building proposal from the National Park Service states the pavilion will “provide a unifying element for the tennis court, the Children’s Garden and the Kitchen Garden.” The Children’s Garden was installed in 1968 by former first lady Lady Bird Johnson, while the Kitchen Garden was created in 2009 by then-first lady Michelle Obama.
Exciting to break ground on the new tennis pavilion project at the White House today. Thank you to all who will help in making this legacy piece possible for future first families to gather at and enjoy for years to come. @theNationalMall @NatlParkService pic.twitter.com/UcYLeJ27Ni
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 8, 2019
When she posted an update on the project Thursday the critics surfaced again. Melania was shown in a hard hat, as the others in the photo were wearing and she was looking at blueprints. That’s a pretty standard picture for a construction project, right? Well, in this case, apparently it was the worse possible thing the first lady could have done… because of the coronavirus outbreak.
As the Trump administration works to combat the outbreak of coronavirus, the first lady stuck to her agenda and checked in on the construction of the White House’s new tennis pavilion.
Donning a white hard hat, Trump fashionably overlooked blueprints with contractors at the construction site in a black turtleneck dress that featured flared sleeves.
“I am excited to share the progress of the Tennis Pavillion at @WhiteHouse,” Trump captioned a series of pictures on Instagram and Twitter Thursday. “Thank you to the talented team for their hard work and dedication.”
Her critics said she was being insensitive because of the COVID-19 outbreak the administration is dealing with and a recent tornado in Tennessee that resulted in lives lost. Both of those events, though, are being handled by President Trump and his administration, not the Office of the First Lady. Just as the administration is, she is going about doing her own work. What exactly did her critics expect her to be doing?
29 people were killed by a tornado in Tennessee, the world is shuddering as a pandemic expands and what is a tennis pavilion?
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 5, 2020
Wait till Mia Farrow and the other haters find out this pavilion is the first of two structures the first lady is planning. The second is a maintenance building that will be used by the National Parks Service. The National Parks Service is the official public steward of the White House. I’m sure something else horrible will be going on when the ground is broken for that project, too. It’s not like Melania is the Commander-in-Chief and flying off for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and partying with Jay-Z and Beyonce hours after the attack on an American embassy overseas. Just sayin’.
The design is a classic one and in line with the existing architecture of the White House.
The pavilion rises to a height of 18-feet and is designed as a rectangular structure topped by a copper hipped roof. The building is marked by a central arcade framed by four Doric columns. The arcade is sandwiched between two slightly protruding wings, each marked by a fan window-topped glass door. The entire structure is wrapped on four sides by a cornice and parapet wall, with the hipped roof rising beyond the parapet.
An architect for the project has not been named.
Text accompanying the proposal states that “the proposed designs are specifically informed by the existing architecture of the White House, including the East and West Colonnades, fan windows, columns, stonework, and cornices. Architectural inspiration is drawn from the symbolic images of the White House that are so recognizable to the American public.”
This project isn’t unusual, given others in past administrations. The White House putting green, for example, was first installed by President Eisenhower. The White House tennis court was installed during the Teddy Roosevelt administration. George H.W. Bush enlarged it during his time in the White House. Barack Obama had lines drawn and removable baskets added so he could play full-court basketball. The White House bowling alley was a birthday gift to President Truman.
Let the haters hate. Melania Trump responded perfectly. She told them to go out and do something positive for their own communities. #BeBest
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 7, 2020