Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 2001
Short Cuts:Presidential settings
America’s presidential libraries do more than
enshrine the documents of our past chief executives. These
facilities offer elegant, full-service meeting spaces. And,
whatever the politics of the participants, presidential libraries
somehow seem to elicit a spirit of bipartisanship.
“We host companies such as Delta, Home Depot and The Research
Board,” says Lisa C.W. Wiley, manager of conference and events
services at The Carter Center (www.cartercenter.org) in Atlanta. Founded by Jimmy and
Rosalynn Carter in 1982, the center’s meeting facilities feature
Internet access and videoconferencing. Various spaces host groups
of 10 to 1,200. The on-site Jimmy Carter Library & Museum
displays memorabilia from the 1976 presidential campaign.
Perhaps the liveliest presidential venue is The Richard Nixon
Library & Birthplace (www.nixonlibrary.org) in Yorba Linda, Calif. Here
visitors can listen to Watergate tapes (peppered with “strong
language”), and the gift shop has campy items such as a coffee mug
imprinted with a photo of Nixon shaking hands with Elvis Presley
and labeled “The President and the King.” A theater seats 400,
while the main lobby holds banquets for 400.
Other presidential libraries include those of Dwight Eisenhower
(www.eisenhower.utexas.edu) in Abilene, Kan., John F.
Kennedy (www.jfklibrary.org) in Boston and Ronald Reagan (www.reagan.utexas.edu) in Simi Valley, Calif.
• J. Sheinman
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