Delightfully Tacky

There is just something about this (link requires registration) that makes you feel good that an immigrant takes so much pride in being an American and, at the same time, reminds you of how tacky some things can be.

In October 2001, Fred Milani’s replica of the White House on Briarcliff Road was not quite finished. Still, it was creating a stir in the Oak Grove area north of Clairmont Road as passersby slowed down to gape. In fact, though still in the works, it was the first house profiled in Private Quarters.

. . . .

The house is a replica of the presidential mansion on the outside only, although Fred works in an “oval office,” seated at a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s carved mahogany desk. And there’s a carved seal of the United States mounted on the ceiling and another woven into the carpet.

Milani, an Iranian-born engineer, residential developer and builder, is an American citizen who has lived in this country since 1979. He is also a former Muslim who converted to Christianity nine years ago. Throughout the house are reminders of his faith, intertwined with his pride of citizenship.

There are 36 rooms on three floors in the 16,500-square-foot house. It has six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and six fireplaces. The elaborate draperies in the formal rooms are duplicates of those in the White House. “I gave the seamstresses a book on the White House and asked them to copy them,” Yvonne explained.

The domed ceiling over the spectacular central staircase in the foyer features a mural of Jesus. His outstretched arms reach out to American Indians in feathered headdresses, Hispanic men in sombreros and Asians in traditional costumes.

That last bit is truly funny. The link, if you want to go through the AJC’s annoying registration bit, contains the fully story with lots of details and photos.

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Erick Erickson

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