First lady Melania Trump unveils White House Rose Garden restorations

The Rose Garden has been under construction since late last month, when the first lady announced she was spearheading an overhaul to the space to include updates to the technological elements of the space, as well as the redesign of the plantings and the placement of new limestone walkways. Since construction began, the garden — used more frequently in the Covid-19 era to hold news conferences as it allows White House staff, journalists and guests to more safely socially distance — has been out of sight from staff and members of the press.

CNN previously reported the space was on a list of spots for the first lady’s convention speech. The GOP convention is set to begin next week, and President Donald Trump will give his convention address from the South Lawn of the White House.

The President and first lady are set to hold a closed reception in the Rose Garden later Saturday, which Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence also plan to attend. CNN has requested a list of those who will be in attendance.

The restoration resembles the original design and formation of the Rose Garden, established by President John F. Kennedy, and implemented in 1962 by horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. The garden had not undergone a comprehensive refresh since then.

One of the first lady’s stated goals for the renovation was to “fulfill the dynamic needs of the modern presidency,” so part of the updated design includes modern features for audio and visual capabilities, as well as lighting and access for television cameras.

The Rose Garden renovation was paid for by private donations.

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