The Trump Presidential Library: an unpresidented(sic) and premature monument



By ann summers

So many were in denial up to now. It’s time to anticipate the site for the Trump Presidential Library … will it be Mar-a-Lago, Las Vegas, Queens, Long Island, maybe in Scotland or Russia … just make sure there are no wind turbines nearby.


Claes Oldenberg, Proposed Colossal Monument for Staten Island, N.Y.C. – Fan (1965)

It is telling that there are more pre-Inaugural articles speculating on the Trumpian archives than any previous POTUS. Since Trump is not bookish, it’s less a library than a magazine rack with a WiFi connection.

Regardless of the LIbrary’s location, bets are that he sites his tomb on the South Lawn, where the Easter eggs collect, or like Lord Nelson (ha-ha) at St Paul’s Cathedral, in the White House basement.

The Trump Presidential Library and Casino looks like it did the day he opened it, unusually early in March 2017. There are faux ionic columns, a huge gold spray-paint 1980s-font title above the door, and an attached Presidential Golf Course out back. And portraits. Dozens. It’s almost North Korean in its obsession with portraits of our soon to be history dear leader….Next door is the adjoining Casino part of the complex which is still open to the public. Breitbart-Fox plays on the TVs, there are lots of slots, and (I note only white dealers for) card games. The slots are bizarre because if you win a jackpot pennies spill out to the tune of Hail to the Chief and the President’s voice shouting in that droning yell; “WINNER!” But nobody wins.…

Couldn’t be near or on a public university, so which private educational institution could get the “honor” … Wharton? His Orangeness needs to be identified with NYC, so Fordham, … or something on Long Island … Hofstra? Or maybe Rockefeller U., Yeshiva …

Governor’s Island could do it, with some multi-story eyesore, but it might not have room for the destination resort and hospitality shrine. Atlantic City would be too obvious and there’s not enough widows to hassle with eminent domain …

Seventy-some years later, if the nation (and world) is lucky, the first scholars to settle in at the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library may find themselves starting their formidable research task by asking, “How the hell did we survive this?”

Who is buried in Trump’s Tomb … many Benjamins

When the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum opens its doors, historians may get a more rounded view of the reality-show star and businessman who has just been elected President of the United States. After a passage that might include a ride on a replica of the Trump Tower escalator, and possibly a chance to contemplate the six-foot-tall portrait of Trump for which a Trump charity paid twenty thousand dollars, researchers in the archives may be able to study notes from conversations, minutes of meetings, and memorandums to staff, friends, and family. The advent of e-mail has made the project of a Presidential library more of a challenge, and the effect of the Twitter era is unknown, but there will always be a human factor, and telling personal glimpses.…

Presidential tanning booth

A presidential library, however, is not just about sharing with the public such artifacts as the presidential tanning bed.

Scholars beginning in 2040, when access is opened, will enjoy perusing the six filing cabinets containing White House records from the tumultuous years of 2017-2020. They can sort for clues to what went wrong in those e-mails that Mr. Trump and his staff did not delete as they prepared to turn over the West Wing to President Tim Kaine.

As you know, most American presidential libraries are administered by the National Archives. Because of President Trump’s expressed wishes and also the institution’s unique private funding, which he has promised to reveal at a future date, this one runs differently: The museum side is controlled by independent curators, while the archives remain under a two-decade seal “for the protection of the innocent,” Library CEO Tiffany Trump has explained.

We hope you enjoy your visit. Before you leave us today, please be sure to take a moment to reflect on a presidential tweet from January, 2021. It is mounted in gilt-edged letters in the library’s entrance hall, and it sums up the unique tone and spirit of this man and his presidency:

“I may not be a two-term president, but business is booming. And you will always have to call me ‘President Trump.’ Get used to it, elites!”…


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