Oval Office history

Posted a few old photos of the original and modern Oval Office at various times, consisting of Taft, Wilson, and Eisenhower. I find it interesting to look over the original Oval Office. It’s obvious now, for example, that FDR’s eagle valances were practically taken right from Hoover’s windows before the office was moved, altho Seale says Gugler designed new ones. They go right back to Taft so were presumably green all along, as Seale says, altho they’ve always looked blue in pictures I’ve seen, at least until I saw one from the FDR library.

Also, yesterday, I added a few other historical pics.


9 thoughts on “Oval Office history

  1. Oh wow! The theme for the Bridesmaid’s dresses for Jessie Wilson’s wedding was the Statue of Liberty! How cool is that?! And girls always say they never get to (want to/have any intention to)wear a Bridesmaid’s dress in the real world again!~

    Um, the pic identified as “Franklin Roosevelt’s naval-theme Oval Office, circa 1939”, is actually FDR’s 2nd floor Oval Study. One of my all-time favorite White House rooms. Never seen a photo of it in color, though. Has anybody ever come across one?

    Everybody please pray for the folks in Mexico during Hurricane Dean. It doesn’t look good…

  2. Stop peeking at my posts before I’m done! What are you doing checking this blog at 1 AM?! You’re as bad as Pete.

  3. Oh, right. The problem is that stupid Blogger won’t embargo posts. Even tho I’ve marked this “8:16 AM” it shows up whenever I save it. (If I don’t save it, I’ll lose it if Blogger has a momentary glitch.) I got all involved in researching the Hoover era and forgot to check that FDR pic.

  4. I’ve always been intrigued by the original Taft Oval Office. These are really the best photos I’ve ever seen of it. There really does seem to have been a concerted effort to keep the same valances and even various shades of the same color (green) from the old office through the post-fire Hoover office and on into the 1934 FDR office – that apparently Truman and Ike used with little change.

    For some reason I thought that the Truman/Ike/JFK curtains & valences were installed very late in FDR's time, but on your Oval Office "historic pictures" page there is clearly a pic of the early Truman office with the FDR eagle valences.

    If I’m ever elected president (highly doubtful, at this late date…) I intend to paint the Oval Office a medium grey-green – to play up the white bookcases/shells/wainscot/fireplace and then treat each window in the “bow” seperately. Then see if those cool big, chunky leather sofas are still around – and then have zillions of pictures to make it look kinda like FDR’s Oval Study. Maybe with Boudin’s red carpet, (so I wouldn’t have to decorate for Christmas) or possibly the Ford/Carter carpet. So when I’m elected, you just wait and see if I don’t!

  5. Several of us, no doubt, check this site constantly, at all hours of the day and night. Its an addiction!

    I wish we had color photos throughout the early and mid 20th century. Perhaps then, the White House wouldn’t look so bleak during the FDR and Truman years.

  6. Yes, Dennis, it’s an addiction. I check it several times a day to see if there are any updates or what everyone has written. John, if you are elected President (hey, I would vote for you) I think you should hire all of us to work in the Usher’s/Curator’s office or better yet use the Executive Power to create a special White House Historical Advisory Group.

  7. Oh great. He’s not even elected and he already has to worry about “disgruntled office seekers.”

  8. I plan to run on an outdoor platform, with picnic benches for all. The planks in my campaign platform will be sanded smooth, so nobody will get splinters.

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