Creme de la CREM

Delved back into the Report of the Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion from 1952 and added floor plans from there. I’m not sure why I hadn’t done this before, because I photographed some of the plans months ago so I could draw the modern second and third floor plans.

As a part of this, I saw a diagram I hadn’t noticed before. It shows a cross-section of the East Sitting Hall looking west, and shows clearly how the hidden staircase to the third floor is structured.

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7 thoughts on “Creme de la CREM

  1. “Creme de la CREM” (he-he-he…)

    That simplex clock in Bess Truman’s office (which Dennis has already mention as being his childhood schoolroom clock – it was mine as well) – man, the New and Improved Truman White House did have a few bizarre notes, here and there. That clock. The very institutional wall-mounted water fountains in the 3rd floor center hall. The extremely weird green marble mantle in the State Dining room.

    I have to wonder if Mrs. Truman and Raethel Odom asked for that clock to be a feature of that little room, knowing that it would be their office. I wonder if it’s still there, even now!

  2. “Creme de la CREM” (he-he-he…)

    That simplex clock in Bess Truman’s office (which Dennis has already mention as being his childhood schoolroom clock – it was mine as well) – man, the New and Improved Truman White House did have a few bizarre notes, here and there. That clock. The very institutional wall-mounted water fountains in the 3rd floor center hall. The extremely weird green marble mantle in the State Dining room.

    I have to wonder if Mrs. Truman and Raethel Odom asked for that clock to be a feature of that little room, knowing that it would be their office. I wonder if it’s still there, even now!

  3. The CREM plans you posted indicate that in 1952 the door (near the south wall of the house) from Harry Truman’s bedroom (Today’s “Living Room” into Bess Truman’s Sitting Room (today’s “Master Bedroom”) was blocked. And I have seen pictures of the room under construction showing that there were actual doors there – with door casings and all the appropriate door stuff – but the actual opening was blocked up. In fact Truman had a highboy dresser placed up against the door to keep Bess out. : )

    (I’m not talking about the connecting passage through the closets near the president’s bathroom – that’s been there since the renovation was completed.)

    In the December 1981 Architectural Digest with the Reagan’s upstairs quarters, there is a very clear photo of this door opened up from Reagan’s study into their bedroom. (I think you have this photo posted on the “Living Room” page) And Jackie Kennedy talks about a sereo system set up in the shelves between the two rooms – where they played the famous Camelot record at night.

    So my question is: When was this door opened up? Anybody know? Did Mamie have it opened up so she could over and pat Ike on his bald head?

  4. Sorry – typos – Jackie’s “stereo” and was the door opened up so Mamie could “come” over and pat – oh, hevermind. I type like an animal.

  5. I think the door was always there; it was blocked by the chest of drawers in Truman’s and Eisenhower’s administrations, according to photos. It was a problem of finding a place for furniture in a room that was pretty small and too many doors.

  6. The door at the south end of the room(through the little closet) was opened up during the Kennedy years. This was done because the former passage (Through the large bowed closet at the south end of the suite) was reconfigured into two separate closets, with a wall dividing them.

  7. The door at the south end of the room(through the little closet) was opened up during the Kennedy years. This was done because the former passage (Through the large bowed closet at the south end of the suite) was reconfigured into two separate closets, with a wall dividing them.

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