Open post: mantelpieces

Feel free to comment on the history of mantels thruout the White House. (And feel free to spell it “mantle” if you like; I obviously thoroly approve of alternative spellings.)

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34 thoughts on “Open post: mantelpieces

  1. I like ones with columns and Grecian Devices. I wish they would bring back the 1902 Mc Kim, Mead & White mantel to the Yellow Oval Room. The one that's in there seems too low for the room. No offense to your naked ladies, Derek.

    What was it with those funky screens/scrims/fan things that Mamie Eisenhower used in the fireplaces?

    The Green Room mantel and the Red Room mantel are not *exactly* identical.

    I like a fireside, when a storm is due. (insert dancing musical notes…)

  2. I like ones with columns and Grecian Devices. I wish they would bring back the 1902 Mc Kim, Mead & White mantel to the Yellow Oval Room. The one that's in there seems too low for the room. No offense to your naked ladies, Derek.

    What was it with those funky screens/scrims/fan things that Mamie Eisenhower used in the fireplaces?

    The Green Room mantel and the Red Room mantel are not *exactly* identical.

    I like a fireside, when a storm is due. (insert dancing musical notes…)

  3. Hey! Off topic. I created a Facebook group for White House Fanatics. It seems to me that some of us might not know or are interested in seeing each other in pictures and such as the friends that we’ve become here in the blog. If you like the anonymity of this blog then for sure don’t join up. I just thought it’d be nice to meet some of you. I used the WHM as the listed website of interest. And I used Southbend as the home. But I did use my email because I don’t want Derek to feel like he has to administrate something else.

    Derek can start a new blog entry if this is something of interest. I’m cool with it if it goes nowhere.

  4. Hey! Off topic. I created a Facebook group for White House Fanatics. It seems to me that some of us might not know or are interested in seeing each other in pictures and such as the friends that we’ve become here in the blog. If you like the anonymity of this blog then for sure don’t join up. I just thought it’d be nice to meet some of you. I used the WHM as the listed website of interest. And I used Southbend as the home. But I did use my email because I don’t want Derek to feel like he has to administrate something else.

    Derek can start a new blog entry if this is something of interest. I’m cool with it if it goes nowhere.

  5. I am generally not too thrilled with the Bush’s Lincoln bedroom renovation. But one thing I like very much is the mantelpiece. It matches the ones in the photos and etchings exactly. Does anyone know if it’s the original, brought out of storage, or a reproduction?
    Chris

    PS: I have no problem sharing my *true* identity (with a very OLD photo). How does one sign up on facebook? I checked out the Wikepedia article and was totally mystified.CSJ

  6. Chris – I think the new Lincoln Bedroom mantel is a reproduction, based on a period photograph of the room when it was used as Lincoln’s office. Ditto for the wallpaper (although it was green in those days) and the carpet. I *think* Derek has this photo (the one with Lincoln sitting at a table in his office) on the Lincoln Beroom page.

    So the new Lincoln bedroom is sort of a hybrid of his office and the Prince of Wales bedroom, which Mary Lincoln furnished with the “Lincoln Bed”, etc. There was a link to an article in the Washington Post, back when Derek had a Blog Post on it. You might be able to Google it.

    Victorian was never really my “thing”, but after living in a victorian house for 15 years I have come to appreciate it. My place isn’t furnished in victorian, though. It’s sort of Shaker/Folk Artish.

    Sure, I’ll do Facebook – where do I go, what do I do?

  7. Just what kind of controls are on Facebook? I wouldn’t mind a little less anonymity, but I don’t want my face and info plastered all over cyberspace. Also, I don’t know how to post a photo, anyway.

  8. Dennis – I’m with you on this – I don’t mind being “seen”, but I do have privacy issues. I did go ahead and register on Facebook, but aside from the basics, I have the computer skills of Great-Aunt Effie.

    I’m getting DSL tomorrow – and I get to install it myself… This should be interesting…

    Derek, you can stop laughing now…

  9. Good luck with the DSL. It involves “protocols” and “configuration” and can be messy. Try not to get any on you.

  10. Eeewwww. I just got a mysterious box, Ground UPS, from my ISP… Should I wear gloves? The guy at my ISP said all I have to do is plug in the thing to the other thing and then put the CD into the CD thing and then click on the other thing. He said it was so easy even a rocket scientist could do it!

    Wingnut! We need you! How do we access the White House Junkie’s page on Facebook?

  11. Yeah. I just wanted to open the door.

    You can’t have someone on facebook become your friend if you dont’ want them to.

    You need to be careful that you don’t subscribe to a large region like your state. If you subscribe to a whole region it means that anyone can see your profile.

    Otherwise you will enjoy a lot of privacy.

    Lets say someone wanted to look for me on Facebook. First of all, to look for me they would have to be a member. If they type my name in, it will list everybody on Facebook who has the same name as me. In that list they may recognize my face (it’s a small thumbnail photo) and then make a request to me that they want to be a facebook friend. They already know me, so I click OK. THEN they an see my profile and see my photos.

    So being a Facebooker for a while has been nice because I converse only with people who I’ve designated as my friend. The only reason they can see a thumbnail of me is because I gave them one. So you can leave your profile picture blank, but post photos within your profile photo album.

    I just talk with you all and I think it’s be nice to open it up. But only within the circle that seems to have formed.

    I agree that you have to careful on the web, but even Google searches don’t cough-up Facebook info. So that’s comforting.

  12. By the way, I can testify that Facebook isn’t a scam that bombards you with email and messages and harassment by people you don’t want to see or know.

    Just be carefull about the settings you choose when you first create your profile.

  13. OK, so John if that’s you in the WHF group then I just sent you a friend request. I couldn’t see a picture of you, all it shows is a “?” so if you don’t want your face shown in the profil picture, it protects you from being seen.

    And so if you accept me as a friend, only then will I be able to see any photo albums of you, or converse with you.

  14. Yeah – got that far Wingnut – I registered and saw your message and replied – at least I think I did! I have TRIED to send a photo. My issue is having the pic I want to send recognized as a valid filename. This may be a problem within my computer. I’m learning all this as I go – I’ve never been a member of an on-line group like this before.

  15. Make sure the extension on your file is jpg. Sometimes people have odd formats they use like .png, or .gif. You want .jpg. Even .bmp tends to be too large a file for it to upload.

    Most computers with Windows if you click on Start>All programs>Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office Tools>Microsoft Office Picture Manager that's a GREAT tool to reformat. It's SO easy. Do you have MS Office?

  16. Wingnut – there you are!

    I’ll explore tomorrow and see what I can do. Considering that I was totally computer phobic just a few years ago, I’ve come a long way.

    I also get to install my DSL tomorrow, but apparently all I have to do is pop in the CD and follow the instructions.

    Thanks for setting all this up!

  17. I saw the original McKim, Mead and White State Dining Room mantelpiece this summer at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri. It is of a gray stone, but horribly mutilated and displayed in pieces, with the original cast iron “cooking grill work” in front of it. I remember seeing it in the 1970’s in the same museum intact.
    To my knowledge there are only three mantelpieces from the 1818 shipment left in the White House: the Green Room, the Red Room, and what is now known as the Living Room (formerly President’s Bedroom). The latter was one of four matching mantels used by Hoban in the four corner rooms of the Second Floor. The one in question served in the First Lady’s Dressing Room from 1818 until 1949. Winslow altered it a bit and installed it in the present location in 1952.

  18. I got into Facebook, but now I cannot access it at all. It keeps rejecting my password. I sent to them for help, but so far they have not answered my email. So, Pete is my only friend.

  19. I can’t believe the Truman Library has the mantle displayed in pieces. I’m sure JBK would be mortifed to know that because she wanted it back for the WH. There was such a stink over it not being returned when she asked for it, the Truman Library would not display it for years (or even talk about it). I was there in 1994 and when I asked where it was, I was told “we don’t talk about it”.
    Evidently now they not only talk about it, but they display it (in pieces) as well.

  20. I can’t believe the Truman Library has the mantle displayed in pieces. I’m sure JBK would be mortifed to know that because she wanted it back for the WH. There was such a stink over it not being returned when she asked for it, the Truman Library would not display it for years (or even talk about it). I was there in 1994 and when I asked where it was, I was told “we don’t talk about it”.
    Evidently now they not only talk about it, but they display it (in pieces) as well.

  21. Maybe it fell over while on display or something and broke into a bunch of pieces?

    Logan, I’m a Jefferson nut too – not too long ago I found a reproduction of his swivel bookstand at a local consignment shop (the same one I found that White House engraving in) and I have it on a small sideboard at home. But I have never been to the Monticello Domeroom. I’m just Pea Green with envy, as Scarlett would have said…

  22. Sorry to hear about that Dennis. It may be that something is acting funny. Give it a day or maybe re-register soon. Don’t give up!

  23. Okay John, I’m pea green with envy over the swivel book stand. I have been intrigued by Jefferson for a very long time. I have been fortunate enough to attend a couple of seminars/workshops on Jefferson (one was a 6 week NEH seminar and the other was a week long Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History). While in these workshops, we were given special tours of Monticello and allowed upstairs. I would have to equate it with being allowed upstairs at the WH.

    I also am involved with Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat home located in Bedford County, VA. My wife and I serve on an educational advisory panel there. My students accuse me of teaching “Jeffersonian History” because everything always comes back to Jefferson. They say I’m obsessed with him. John, I’m glad to know that there are other WH enthusists that share the interest in Jefferson.

  24. Logan, I’m hoping to visit an old friend within the next few weeks, who now lives in Petersburg, Virginia (he’s trying to get me to move to Richmond-Petersburg, rather than Cincinnati, when I – and if I *do* move) and we plan to go over and see Poplar Forest. I’ve always wanted to see it. I attended a lecture in 1994 at the Historic New Orleans Collection that Allen Chambers gave and bought his book (more books, always more books)”Poplar Forest and Thomas Jefferson”. I did send away for the little Poplar Forest guidebook about a year ago. Amazing how they’re going about the renovation and having tours at the same time!

  25. Logan, I’m hoping to visit an old friend within the next few weeks, who now lives in Petersburg, Virginia (he’s trying to get me to move to Richmond-Petersburg, rather than Cincinnati, when I – and if I *do* move) and we plan to go over and see Poplar Forest. I’ve always wanted to see it. I attended a lecture in 1994 at the Historic New Orleans Collection that Allen Chambers gave and bought his book (more books, always more books)”Poplar Forest and Thomas Jefferson”. I did send away for the little Poplar Forest guidebook about a year ago. Amazing how they’re going about the renovation and having tours at the same time!

  26. I have a very nice guidebook for the Harry S Truman Library and Museum. In that guidebook, on the White House pages is a very nice photograph of the Balwin piano (reproduction) and, behind it, the Fireplace. The book says “The mantel, originally in the White House State Dining Room, was removed during a 1948-52 renovation.”

    I last visited the Truman library around 1990 and the book dates from then. Whatever happened to the Fireplace must have been a mess!

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