Added a couple of Clinton-era pics from the Echoes from the White House DVD. That video had surprisingly few good broad shots of the rooms, but a couple were quite interesting, including one of the second floor central hall, third floor central hall (finally, in color!), solarium (also color! eww…).
Love it. Thanks for digging.
The White House seems to have an abundance of pianos, at least 3 that I can count: East Room, Second Floor Central Hall, Third Floor Central Hall. Perhaps the one on the third floor was owned by the Clintons.
The fancy Steinway in the East Room was a gift, but didn’t Baldwin also give one to Truman? Maybe that’s the one in all the Clinton pictures; maybe it just got moved in the time between when the pictures were taken.
Yes, you are right about the Steinway. Actually, it was the second Steinway given to the White House. Why they replaced the first one I don’t know. The original is pictured in White House History, Number 8, in a section of photos taken during the Coolidge years. If you can get this volume, it has a lot of great photos from that time.
The piano in the third floor center hall has Queen Anne legs and is not the Baldwin shown on the second floor, the one given to President Truman.
Truman had a piano in his second floor oval study, Margaret had a piano in her sitting room, and West recounts a small spinet that was also on the second floor.
Interesting pics. Is that Denzell Washington reading in the Center Hall, in the video capture from “Echos from the White House”?
I recall seeing the Black Truman Steinway – the one with the sort-of art-moderne looking silver eagle on the keyboard lid – in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the State Department, when I saw them in the fall of 2000. I’ve seen pictures of the East Room from the Truman era, showing the Black Steinway at one end and the Roosevelt “eagle leg” Steinway at the other end of the room. That silver eagle on the Black Piano is pretty snazzy, let me tell you. I was behind the velvet rope, but still quite close to it.
And yes, “eeewwwww” pretty much covers the color Solarium pic!
In my previous post, I did not mean to imply that the second floor piano is the Baldwin given to President Truman. There is a photo of the Baldwin piano in Seale’s book, The White House, showing many photographs of the architectual aspects of the house.
The second floor piano is not large enough to be the Baldwin. My guess is that it is a piano that has been in the house for many years, including the years it sat in the Truman study.
According to West, the Trumans brought only Margaret’s piano with them. It was placed in her sitting room.
The State Department Diplomatic Reception rooms are beautiful and interesting to see. My problem with them is that they are in an artificial environment–a 1950s office building. And what could be worse than a 1950s office building?
John in NOLA: The guy in the second floor hall is Avery Brooks (Capt Sisko from Deep Space Nine and host of many documentaries). He is one of several celebrities reading the words of WH occupants to illustrate the history. Weirdly, since there are virtually no wide shots in the video, it took me a while to even realize they were in the WH. It could have been a hotel or the EEOB.