I think we have a winner in the “Where’s Ike?” contest. Visitor Kevin G provides this fine bit of detective work demonstrating that the photo of Ike must have been taken in the small West Bedroom upstairs.
Here is the photo about Eisenhower. These are just my conclusions, but I looked at the wainscoting panels and the only ones I find of the same length are in the West Bedroom
See what you think. I was wondering if the mantels could have been changed in the Kennedy restoration. Also note the electrical plug in the West Bedroom photo. I believe outlets would have been added.
Update: Well… perhaps not. Unless Ike temporarily changed the mantel himself, the fireplace is wrong. The original, uncaptioned photo comes from a page on Ike’s post-White-House years, so it’s possible that the photo was not taken in the WH and yet… he had the motive, the opportunity, and the desire….
That’s the best evidence yet. IN the absence of any other theory, I’d say you’ve solved it. And smaller details/differences from the Eisenhower pic to the Clinto era pic don’t matter – details change over time.
OK, I hate to throw a monkey wrench into the proceedings – and not to discount Kevin’s excellent detective work – but I’ve just sent Derek a couple of pictures that would tend to dispute this latest finding – and I’m hoping that he will post them at some point…?
In that Sotheby’s catalog of “Property from the Kennedy Family Homes” (one of which of course was the White House) – that I found yesterday, there is a very clear color picture of the mantle – and the wainscoting on either side of it, in the West Bedroom (John Kennedy Jr’s bedroom). It shows the “longer” panels flanking the mantle. It also shows the very same mantle that was in the room in 1952, a very clear picture of which I found on the “West Bedroom” page of this very website.
The ONLY difference in the picture of the 1952 mantle and the 1962 mantle is that Jackie and Sister Parish painted it white, when they redecorated John-John’s room. (they also did this in Jackie’s bedroom and in the East Room).
By the time those 1992 Bush(1) HABS photos were made, there was indeed a new mantle in the room, as Kevin’s pictures clearly show. And the “panels” are clearly “shorter” like those in the vexing “Eisenhower” photo.
So, I put it to you, the jury, that the mantle in the room in 1962, (with the “longer panels” flanking it) was the self-same mantle that was in the room in 1952! (but painted white!) And if this is indeed true, then the photo of Eisenhower cannot have been made in the West Bedroom, UNLESS the 1952 mantle was first removed and subsequently reinstalled in the room by the time the Kennedys moved in!
Does this mantle have an alibi for the years 1953-1961? And WHY was a matchbook from the “The Stork Club” found on it’s shelf, containing the address and phone number of “Solange”?
Like I said, little details change at the white house all the time.
The matchbook with “Solange’s” phone number was actually on the mantle in JFK’s bedroom. My mistake. 🙂
But what about the shot fired from the Grassy Knoll?
Oh, sorry, wrong mystery.
I agree with John, unless the photo underneath it labeled West Bedroom after Truman renovation was actually taken before the Truman renovation.
True, the panels are right. But the Fireplace is wrong, the rug is wrong. And, why would they use a bedroom in this way to begin with? If for a TV interview, they could have used the Library, as done before, or the Trophy (Yellow Oval) Room or the Monroe (Treaty) Room. Why would they dismantle the bedroom and move in the Presidential Flag when other rooms are available?
I doubt that the mantel would have been changed before the JBK renovation.
I just don’t see it. But I do appreciate the fine detective work. Keep it coming!
To me, the prime suspect is still the upstairs dining room which was a sitting room during the Eisenhower administration. If this was a set-up for TV or whatever, it would make sense to use the room.
I wish that we had a close up photo of the east wall pre-JBK and post-Truman. The Fireplace there now is definitely not the one in the Eisenhower photo.
I know the firplace is wrong, but stuff gets moved all the time. I haven’t seen one bit of photgraphic evidence to counter what Derek is saying. All I’m saying is, that’s the best evidence yet.
Why does the Eisenhower photo say he is looking “west?”
If it was the OO, he would be looking east. If the west bedroom he would be looking north, if the Private Dining Room or East Bedroom he would be looking south and if it is the Office just west of the OO in the west wing, he is looking east.
Is “west” in the original caption, Derek?
Are we simply discounting the obvious possibility that Ike was temporarily transported into the future for a photo op in the West Bedroom after it had…. oh forget it.
Oliver Stone emailed me. He says there’s a second photo of this Ike moment that the gov’t won’t release that would put an end to this debate.
Yeah, but it was shot from a different direction…
I hate to confound things more, but I’m still not confident that any of the rooms are a perfect match. While the mantles can change and the “length” of the panels can be distorted by photography, we’ve not yet seen any mirror or artwork that would correspond to the ornate frame above the mantle (though it does look a bit like the overmantle piece from QEII when she visited HST).
Could the setting of Ike’s photo be, in fact, the 7/8 scale reproduction of the Oval Office at his library in Abiline? Or maybe even a “set?” You know, over in the Old EOB, there is a broadcast studio that is made to look like the White House Library but is used instead because of sound and lighting, etc.
Just thoughts, but it is vexxing, isn’t it?
I just discovered something that might be of interest here…if you rightclick on the Ike photo and got to Properties, it is listed as “…selectphotos/19621968…” Could this mean that in fact it is a photo from the post-presidency years?