Other presidential places

I mentioned at one time that I’d purchased Oneobservatorycircle.org and planned to do at least a few pages on the vice-president’s residence (Wonkette recently posted some really juicy photos called—in typical Wonkette fashion—”Inside the Monster’s Lair“), but I’ve also begun wondering about adding just a couple of pages about Air Force One (for which there are a good number of photos and even a pretty good diagram) and Camp David (for which there are some photos, but not a lot). I know these locations don’t have the allure of the White House, but they seem like logical extensions of the WHM.

I’m personally kind of curious about the old Mayflower and other presidential yachts, too, but I don’t think much in the way of photos or diagrams of them exist. I’m not very interested in Marine One or the presidential limos, since they are so small and utilitarian, but I know that some pretty good diagrams exist.

White House Today and Yesterday

The blog comments about the January 1961 issue of National Geographic and its cover article “Inside the White House” brought up this little book: The White House: Today and Yesterday. John in NOLA scanned the cover for us. He notes that this book is available through Abe Books and Amazon. Only 60 cents new, in 1962, the book is still available for next to nothing, but has some really wonderful photos—some John had never seen anywhere else and many we’ve all seen. “Worth adding to your collection, I assure you,” he says, altho he notes, “The size of the actual book is 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches,” so it’s quite small. I’ll check it out, but I’ll see if I can find the infamous “butcher” cover.

Also, visitor Chris points out that this week’s Newsweek features an article on the redecoration of the Lincoln Bedroom.

Update: Link to the Newsweek article online.

Yellow Oval chandelier

Mike B writes:

While looking on the whitehouse.gov site this morning, I noticed a photo of Laura Bush entertaining in the Yellow Oval Room. The chandelier overhead looked noticeably different from the one in past photos. Am I seeing things or was the chandelier recently switched with one that looks remarkably like one from the Kennedy/Johnson era ?

You are definitely correct. That certainly looks like the chandelier used in the Kennedy era. It’s beautiful and a tad less formal than the one used thru the Clinton era. It looks a lot like the one in the old Family Dining Room.

The American President audio commentary

I’ve completed the second White House-oriented audio commentary, this time for the movie The American President, starring Michael Douglas as a widowed top exec wooing Annette Bening. It’s over on my other website. The filmmakers managed several visits to the WH to get the details right. One of the things I note is the really beautiful blue watered silk wall-covering they chose for the president’s bedroom and the elegant, yet girlish, patterned wallpaper for the first daughter’s bedroom—really well done.

Also, Patrick P has contributed a detailed analysis of the film Wilson, which I put on the Movies page. Thanks, Patrick!

Update: Dennis points out that the French PM state dinner was modeled closely after the Yeltsin dinner, as depicted in the Inside the White House documentary. I’ve altered the page descriptions, but I think I’ll rerecord that part. Thanks for the tip, Dennis!

White House videos

John in NOLA reminded me of some White House videos I found on the CBS News web site that I could never get to run. I think I’ve got the wrong version of Javascript or something. If someone else can get them to play properly, let me know. If not, maybe the pages or the files themselves are actually set up incorrectly and the webmaster doesn’t know it. Other videos on the CBS News site run fine for me. (Arrgh.)