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No Detail Too Small at White House

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No Detail Too Small at White House

Most parts of the exhibit are handmade and are as close a match as possible to the real White House. State Fair of Texas

No detail too small at "White House" 
 By MIKE DANIEL Staff Writer

It's a model home gone mad, a mini-mansion under perpetual renovation, a dollhouse fit for royalty. U.S. royalty, of the elected kind. "The White House in Miniature" is more than a replica of America's most famous residence. It's a 39-year-old project continually improved and maintained by three generations of an Orlando family.

It's also possibly one of the most exhibited miniature homes in history, having traveled to all 50 states, Europe and Japan.

John Zweifel began the project's construction during the Kennedy administration. Incessant re-search, meticulous craftsmanship and help from wife Jan and their six children have resulted in today's 20-by-60-foot display.

Every room of the main building and both wings is fully furnished to mimic 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., down to the tiny chandeliers, dining tables, desk accessories and china sets.

Nearly everything is handmade and as close to an exact match possible, including lighting, wall-paper and upholstery, The dinky TV sets show news loops. Miniature phones actually ring.

The decor is up to date; changes by President George W. Bush are faithfully reflected. The Zweifels estimate that 500,000 hours of labor — the majority of it research — and $1 million have gone into the project, which has been available for public view since 1976.

The model comes to the State Fair of Texas from the National Building Museum, located less than a mile from the real White House.

DETAILS: Daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. inside the Centennial Building. Free with fair admission. 214-565-9931. 

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