Thank You, Mr. President
Photography courtesy of John Zweifel
Jan and John Zweifel present Miniature Collector's Historic Achievement Award President and Mrs. Ford.
A president and first lady who truly opened the White House to the people—via miniatures—were honored by proclamation this past summer. On July 17, Betty and Gerald Ford received an historic achievement award at their home in Colorado from Jan and John Zweifel, creators of The White House Exhibition. The award, signed by Miniature Collector Magazine publisher Ruth M. Keessen, recognizes the Fords for giving the Zweifels access to the White House so the Zweifels could complete their 10-ton 1:12-scale replica of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
John Zweifel had received permission to create a White House replica during the Kennedy administration, but due to heightened security following President Kennedy's assassination, Zweifel and his helpers were shut out from the executive mansion for several years. John relied on guide books, token photographs provided by the White House staff, numerous public tours, reflections into private areas from mirrors positioned in public areas and his own memory to continue building his replica.
Finally, during the Ford administration, Zweifel's persistent requests for access were rewarded. In a whirlwind year of photography, measurements and replication, Jan and John Zweifel and their family worked to complete the replica in time for the country's Bicentennial in 1976. The replica, which has now toured
30 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1998 MINIATURE COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
Although completed in 1976, the miniature White House is a vibrant, ever-changing replica of our country's executive mansion.
all 50 states and several foreign countries, is housed in Clermont, Florida, but is still available for tours.
The historic achievement award, presented to the Fords, coinciden-tally, while the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts was meeting for its annual houseparty, notes "President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford... opened both public and private quarters of the White House to allow the John Zweifel family to research furnishings and artifacts contained therein...so future generations may view a permanent display of the residence and office for the President of the United States of America."
For their support of the Zweifels and for thus also exposing the public to the fascinating world of miniatures, the Fords received the award from Miniature Collector Magazine via Jan and John Zweifel. As John Zweifel noted about President Ford in Gail Buckland's book about the replica, The White House in Miniature, "Without his and Mrs. Ford's help, we could not have made the miniature." ■
The White House Replica is at the House of Presidents, 123 N. Highway 27, Clermont, Florida 34712-0885, (904) 394-2836. Gail Buckland's book, The White House in Miniature, is available for $29.95 plus shipping from Scott Publications, 30595 Eight Mile Road, Livonia, Michigan 481 52 1798. Call (800) 458-8237.
Historic Achievement Award
President Gerald R Ford and Mrs. Betty Ford
July 17, 1997
WHEREAS, President and Mrs. Gerald R Ford, for the first time in 200 years, opened- both public and private quarters of the White House to allow the John Zweifel family to research furnishings and artifacts contained therin, and,
WHEREAS, through the President and First Lady's support and cooperation, the Zweifels were able to complete the first three-dimensional, exact scale miniature replica of this nation's house of state, and,
WHEREAS, due to the Ford's generosity and accesibility, the doors to the White House are now, in miniature scale, open so future generations may view a permanent display of the residence and office of the President of the 'United States of America, and
WHEREAS, the replica of the White House has awakened public interest in the fascinating subject of fine scale miniature,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Miniature Collector Magazine, on behalf of the American public and thousands of miniaturists throughout the world, offers its indebtedness and gratitude to Gerard R and Betty Ford for 'giving the White House to the people."
Ruth M Reesen, publisher
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