Press Briefing Room

Wingnut points out that a Politico article on Helen Thomas mentions that the Press Briefing Room won’t be ready until May or June, meaning that the room will have been out of commission for 10 or 11 months. We saw in Barney’s holiday video that the room was no where near done in December, so that seems accurate, but the long timeline is a stumper. Aside from the possibility that the administration has an ulterior political motive for keeping the press out of the WH, what could be the delay? Charles McKim restored the whole mansion in the same time frame.

My guess: they’re building in additional facilities of some sort underground.

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11 thoughts on “Press Briefing Room

  1. I wish they would do a really nice new press room underground and then totally restore FDR’s indoor swimming pool. The FDR pool has a real history behind it – there was a real grass-roots fund-raising drive and kids all over the country gave nickles, dimes and quarters to help pay for the pool so President Franklin Roosevelt, who of course was a polio patient, could keep up his hydro-therapy at “home”. The old pool is very much still there – or was before they starterd the recent rennovation.

    Not to mention that John F. Kennedy used the pool to swim naked twice a day (often not alone…)

    It would be such a convenience to future First Family members to be able to swim laps (like I do) indoors, away from the cold in the winter.

    And I expect that just about every president would agree to having the press buried underground ! 🙂

  2. I agree with John. The pool does have a good history.

    J.B. West recorded his views about the fate of the indoor pool. He also recorded Kennedy’s swims. One wonders what West knew that he didn’t include in his book.

  3. I think they should rip out the Dip Rec Room, the Blue Room, and the Yellow Room. Put the new indoor pool on the ground floor in the old Dip Rec Room area and put a diving platform with boards at the State Floor and 2nd floor levels.

    Did I say that out loud?

  4. “One wonders what West knew that he didn’t include in his book”.

    Dennis –
    Yes, one *does* wonder… I think his discretion was one of the many reasons Jackie liked J.B. so much. There are several places in “Upstairs at the White Hosue” where you can read between the lines and get a chuckle.

  5. I think the pool still is there. While reading about the renovation, I read that they are apparently goiong to use the pool for storage space.

    One possible option is to keep the whole press in the executive office building, however that may be seen as shielding the press off preom the president, which wouldnt be seen as good.

    It would prolly be hard as hell to dig out a sub basement beneith the press offices wihtout complety gutting the entire thing. And that would also mean that when the press goes for the gaggle in Tony Snow’s office, they have to walk through the swimming pool ( and if the president or his family are in there, it could make for an awkward moment).

    Another possible option is to move the doctor’s office to eaither the east wing or the space under the portico and put the pool there. Its the right size, and it really inst intruding on a thing that has to be in its current location. However I dont think the doctor will appreciate being sent to work under the portico next to a machine shop! The east wing might be better.

  6. I personally think the pool is now gone. I can’t see them keeping it. It will just add to the area already in the basement for the press.

  7. I personally think the pool is now gone. I can’t see them keeping it. It will just add to the area already in the basement for the press.

  8. I agree. The outdoor pool is here to stay, altho it could be enclosed by a greenhouse one day. The old pool is surely being turned into additional office space for the press… possibly with a crypt for Helen Thomas. 😉

  9. Like I said 2 posts ago.

    The pool is definatly gonna still be there, it will just be used for storage space.

  10. It is a great pity that this area, the West Terrace or Pavilion, is being so carelessly torn apart yet again. It is one of the oldest, extant portions of the White House, dating back to 1805-1807, when Latrobe and Jefferson were planning their colonnaded links to the Executive offices to the east and west. But like any other house, old portions get re-worked for new purposes. It is also perhaps a shame that the proposed extension to the West Wing in 1945 (planned by President Truman and architect Lorenzo Winslow) was not executed. Those spaces would have worked nicely into the present century with some modification.

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