Melania Trump’s gaudy White House tennis pavilion has been completed, lol


I wasn’t crazy-mad about the fact that Melania “redesigned” Jackie Kennedy’s famous White House Rose Garden. The story, at the time, was that the garden was being dug up anyway for new drainage and some electrical work underground, so Melania had a chance to put her stink on the garden. What did make me mad was the fact that Melania kept nothing from Jackie’s original designs. Mel took out the crab-apple trees and the colorful flowers, all so she could put in this stark, boring, all-white design. It was gross.

The rose garden redesign happened around the same time Melania decided to put her stamp on another project on the White House grounds: a tennis pavilion. Seriously, she had a tennis court built and there’s a “pavilion” which is basically like a little tennis clubhouse. Well, the tennis pavilion has been completed. In the dead of winter. With the Trumps only in office for 43 more days.

First Lady Melania Trump said Monday that a year-long renovation of the White House tennis court area had been completed, in what is likely to be one of her final projects before Donald Trump leaves office in January. The White House, which sent before-and-after photos of the renovation, said it included a new tennis pavilion on the grounds as well as a refurbishment of the court and the “grandchildren’s garden.”

The pavilion was funded by private donations, according to the White House.

“Thank you to all of the talented craftsmen who made this project possible and to the generous supporters of the White House,” Mrs. Trump said in a statement. “It is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families.”

[From People]

The reaction to Melania’s tennis pavilion throughout this whole process has been pretty funny. I get the feeling that even MAGAts kind of side-eye her for this mess. At least it wasn’t paid for by taxpayers, but this was all such a dumb nuisance. Like, Melania couldn’t be bothered to actually come up with a signature initiative or even a good cause to simply lend her support to. All she had was “Be Best” (she did next to nothing with it) and this fakakta tennis pavilion.

United States President Donald J. Trump and First lady Melania Trump depart the White House

Melania Trump Address at the 2020 Republican National Convention

Photos courtesy of White House, Avalon Red.

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29 Responses to “Melania Trump’s gaudy White House tennis pavilion has been completed, lol”

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  1. Lorelei says:

    I realize this isn’t at all a priority in the scheme of things, but I really hope one of the first things Jill Biden does is restore the Rose Garden to exactly the way it was before the Trumps ever set foot on the property.

    ETA: I’m not one of those people who fetishizes the Kennedys and the whole “Camelot” thing (my mom sure is, lol) but I saw this photo yesterday and for some reason, in this case I think keeping the Rose Garden traditionally, as Jackie did, just seems like the right thing to do, instead of every First Lady trying to put her individual stamp on it.

    • Sharra55 says:

      I was going to say the same thing! Put it back! Make it colorful and joyful again.

    • Chimes@Midnight says:

      I remember reading that the trees at least were being stored until they they could be replanted in the right weather, so they aren’t “gone”.

    • Lady Elaine says:

      The Rose Garden restoration was what Bunny Mellon and Jackie originally designed. It was done by a firm with excellent credentials. Melania didn’t design it. Architectural Digest recently did a story on it and the original Mellon plans that JFK loved were used in the restoration. I think Melania is generally useless but the garden is well executed for
      a landscape design perspective. In later years it had the feel of the landscaping and Disney World. Lots of color and lots of variety which many people enjoy, but it’s not what was originally intended by Mellon.

    • The Recluse says:

      I am shocked that the ghost of Dolley Madison didn’t go after her for destroying her roses.

  2. megs283 says:

    Eh. I like the tennis court and pavilion. At least it’s something. Hopefully the Biden family will enjoy it. 😀

  3. Bookie says:

    It’s actually quite nice and a huge improvement over what was there. I’m sure that means she had absolutely nothing to do with it.

  4. Jay says:

    The columns remind me of the “follies”, pretentious white pavilions rich dudes in Agatha Christie novels are always building on their “grounds”. I once read a description of the Trumps as “a poor person’s idea of a rich person” and this fits right in with that.

    Was this built on top of Obama’s basketball court?

    • terra says:

      No and yes. A fenced in tennis court has existed on the grounds of the South lawn for a few decades now. Obama had a separate basketball court built nearby early in his first term, but he sometimes also played on the tennis court, where a hoop was put up.

      My best guess is that the Secret Service liked the high gated walls of the tennis court from a security perspective since the basketball court is so close to the OEOB parking lot next door.

      • Jay says:

        Interesting! Thanks – it’s so interesting how the grounds change with each presidency. I remember Nixon famously had a bowling alley, very seventies.

      • terra says:

        You’re welcome! I’m a White House trivia nerd, which comes from my Presidency geekism, which spawns from my American history dorkdom.

        There still is a bowling alley – one was originally built during the Truman presidency, I believe. Truman himself didn’t bowl, but he allowed staffers to form a league anyway. At one point there was one in the OEOB too, but I am unsure as to whether it’s still there or not. The new White House alley was built by Nixon and was renovated during George W. Bush’s administration.

        There’s a great website called the White House Museum (not an official museum). It has pictures of every part of the White House, including some from the 1800s for several rooms.

        Here’s the bowling alley:

        I like the history of the Closet Hall and the Private Family Dining Room myself – the last speech Lincoln ever gave and the room where he was embalmed for the first of eleven (!) times.

  5. lucy2 says:

    I hope any work done to the WH in the past 4 years was at the request of the National Parks Service, and not this wretched excuse for a FLOTUS. She didn’t do anything in all that time, so I have to believe she just stuck her name onto already planned projects and said “Whatever, I don’t give a fuuuk.”

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s entirely possible–the NPS landscape architects likely had already developed these projects, if, as stated earlier, the garden is based on the original design & the building is more in keeping stylistically with the WH itself.

  6. Swack says:

    When I first saw this it reminded me of the laundry/bathroom for the pool at the All Star resort i stay at in Disney World (when I take the grandkiddos). They look the same.

  7. josephine says:

    It looks exactly like the social room near the pool of my in-laws’ condo in Florida. It’s attractive but purposefully dull and inoffensive, exactly like all of those little social rooms that are part of the amenities of the fancy Florida condos. And I find that a little depressing.

    She’s been singularly unremarkable, leaving no positive mark at all in her 4 years. I don’t think saying yes to some bland design for a tennis house counts as anything.

  8. MangoAngelesque says:

    I can’t wait to see the colourful blooms and trees Doctor Biden has sculpted all around this to make it look like it actually belongs on a site of history, and not a retirement condo in Florida.

  9. El says:

    I don’t know much about tennis, but is it odd to have so much glass that close to a tennis court? Or do tennis balls not have enough force to break or crack it? (I have three young boys so I worry about these things.)

  10. Lightpurple says:

    The Trump budget proposal calls for millions of dollars for Melania to renovate and redecorate the White House, which underwent major repairs and renovations in 2017. We can be grateful the building will be spared that ordeal.

  11. Erika says:


    Okay, now that that’s out of the way: she probably had very little to do with the design/redesign of the grounds (minus…whatever this nonsense is), in particular the gardens. It’s all under the auspices of so many regulatory and historic preservation agencies, that I can almost guarantee most of the removals were already planned, and any choice she did have was probably “pick from x, y, or z” from a pre-approved list. Tree removals especially so – the soil of the Mall is junk fill soil, trees die alllllll the time, and then just get replaced! Source: former national memorial person 🙂

  12. Courtney B says:

    At least Trump’s desired overhaul of Jackie’s paint scheme of Air Force One was slow rolled long enough to keep it from happening.

  13. Veronica S. says:

    Thanks, Mel! I’m sure the incoming administration will enjoy it.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    I have no issues with this…the original was tacky AF….

  15. Busyann says:

    Im sorry….I kind of like the little pavillion. It’s better than the shed that was there before. *walks slowly backwards into the hedges*