Bush Family Home in Midland, Texas now officially a Texas State Historic Site

 June 3, 2023

Former President George W. Bush has kept a relatively low profile over the years since his two-term presidency concluded in early 2009, but he and his family are back in the news again.

The modest suburban house in Midland, Texas where Bush lived as a young boy has been officially adopted as a Texas historical site and formally named as the Bush Family Home State Historic Site, according to local CBS affiliate KOSA.

Bush Childhood Home formally renamed

The outlet noted that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held by members of the Texas Historical Commission to announce that the site was now open to the public following a change in management of the property.

According to the Texas Historical Commission, the site is particularly unique in that "Nowhere else in the United States, other than the White House, have so many prominent political figures lived in one home -- two presidents, two governors, a first lady, ambassador, CIA director, and much more."

Prior to the formal renaming of the Bush Family Home, it was known as The George W. Bush Childhood Home, and its former executive director, Paul St. Hilaire, said in a statement of the recent change, "With the shortage of volunteers, lack of available funds; to see an organization with the clout that the Texas Historical Commission has, be able to come in here and guarantee that this home will be preserved for years to come, I think is something that should make everyone feel very good."

Home previously restored to original appearance, turned into a museum

The Bush Family Home is also registered as a historical site with the National Park Service, given that two presidents once lived in the one-story, three-bed, one-bath frame house that was first built in 1939 as part of a new subdivision in Midland, which at that time was booming and growing thanks to the productivity of the Permian oil basin in that region of Texas.

In fact, it was the oil boom that brought the Bush family to Texas in the first place, as future President George H.W. Bush and future first lady Barbara Bush bought the home in November 1951 when George W. Bush, the eldest son, was just five years old.

The family only lived in that home for four years, though, as the elder Bush became prosperous in the oil industry and moved the family to a larger home in Midland in 1955 before moving again to Houston in 1959.

The house was then owned by others over the decades until it was purchased by a foundation in 2001, restored to its original appearance in the early 1950s, and opened up to the public as a museum in 2006.

Bush Family Home the 36th Texas State Historic Site

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported in February that the Texas Historical Commission had voted in April 2022 to make the Bush Family Home the 36th Texas State Historic Site, after which control was transferred to the newly established Bush Family Home Foundation under the guidance of Interim Director Jaclyn Woolf.

Woolf said in a statement, "We are so excited about the future of the home with the Texas Historical Commission," and added, "We look forward to working with them to create a place for people to enjoy."

Joseph Bell, the THC's deputy executive director, said, "We are thrilled to include the Bush Family Home as one of 36 state historic sites that will highlight the significance of the Bush family not just to Texas history, but to that of the nation and world," and added, "It is a unique opportunity to provide visitors a snapshot of home life in the 1950s and 60s."

Plans for future expansion

According to the Odessa American, the Bush Family Home Site Manager Troy Gray revealed that the houses on either side of the home had also been purchased and that there were plans in the works to eventually expand the property at some point.

"In the future, we're hoping to expand on the property," Gray explained. "We've already bought the two properties next door. We know that there's going to be a lot more room for exhibits and educational programs. That's going to be exciting."

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