Hodge Podge

Added a few old photos that Jim Hood had posted on Facebook WH Fanatics group. Thanks Jim!


13 thoughts on “Hodge Podge

  1. Isn’t it amazing how they had shutters on most of the south windows? Note also that the office windows are shutterless. Instead, there were horizontal iron bars over the lower half of the windows, I suppose to keep people from falling out.

  2. I’m surprised they weren’t posted here first! Great that you’re posting them Derek.

    (he he I swear I must come here 20x a day. I love the WHM)

  3. Some thoughts-
    Re: 19th Century south facade with shutters-
    When were the shutters on the windows added? During the Civil War? Were they strictly for sun/heat control? Were they only on the south side?

    And…I would like to say once again what a great job Derek has done with this site. It is light years ahead of the WHHA and the official WH sites. Derek’s site is very easy to use and includes so much more info- and the newest too- such as pictures of the new Green Room.

    Speaking of the new Green Room- I think it’s OK- but I never felt that the furnishings, or the overall look of the Nixon/Conger Green Room was something that should be retained forever.
    It would have been very exciting to see a completely new Green Room with all new antiques (obvious oxymoron- sorry) and perhaps a different wall covering. I must admit the silk moire is pretty…but! what else were the hip early colonials using?

    However, I do think the quality of the furnishings and the overall ambiance of the Red Room is something that should be retained.

    And..why can’t the Blue Room be BLUE? once again?
    I would like to see the walls covered in some sort of historically accurate silk in BLUE!

  4. No offense, Hunter, but hip colonials never lived in the White House! They stopped being colonials in July of 1776 and the White House wasn’t occupied until almost a quarter of a century later.

    The Green Room, as it sits today would have been pretty hip for 1810! It contains some of the hippest furniture it was possible to obtain from New York City cabinetmakers of that day.

  5. My favorite shots are the Kennedy’s version of the Green Room. They’re just great pictures. The color of the walls, I’m even surprised that I like the off colored furniture. And even the rug! I love it.

  6. I agree with Hunter. I think the Green Room would benefit from an entirely new scheme. The same with the Blue Room. I’m sorry, but it could stand some updating. I have never like the paper near the ceiling; it looks tacky to me. The Kennedy Blue Room was nice, and to be honest, I liked the Truman/Eisenhower Blue Room! I love the chandelier that was there; it is my favorite of the WH chandeliers (I don’t even know where it hangs now; I know JBK put it in the Green Room and now it is nowhere to be seen.)
    I like the Red Room, but it could stand some new drapes.
    Just my thoughts, and I’m sure they’re worth what you all paid to read them! LOL!

  7. I like the TR/McKim Blue Room with its walls and chandelier. That chandelier disappeared during the Truman renovation,never to be seen again. I think the Truman/Eisenhower Blue Room chandelier was too small for the room. The TR chandelier, IMHO, made TR’s Blue Room. It had height AND width.

  8. I would guess that the shutters were put on the windows fairly early in the 19th century as they were common fixtures on houses. They were on the south side, I think, because that is where the sun would come beating in. The offices don’t have them, suggesting that all possible natural light was necessary.

    I don’t think they had anything to do with the war because bullets and especially cannon balls would go right through them. The plan for Washington in case of Rebel invasion was to use the new Treasury Building with its deep well and stone walls for the last stand while waiting for Federal troops from the north.

    In many homes, first floor shutters were solid for security and upper floors had louvered shutters.

  9. Lots of the older houses here in New Orleans have working shutters – louvered – and not a few have solid shutters. As Dennnis said, often the street floor will have soild shutters for security reasons – and the upper floors will have louvered ones.

    The White House also had – before the Truman Renovation did away with them – paneled interior shutters that folded back into the window reveals – and could unfold across the windows to virtually completely block out light. Each half of the windows had its own seperate interior shutters. I’ve seen pictures of them in use in the offices on the family floor, during the 19th century. Over in the family rooms, privacy and ventilation were more inportant than having all available light.

    OH, how I’d love to have a place with these “hidden” window reveal interior shutters. I’ll never understand WHY they took them out of the White House. They’re extremely elegant and very useful and practical!

  10. BTW, the shutters are not there in the first photograph of the WH, taken during the residence of James K. Polk and his “Spanish Dona.”

  11. BTW, the shutters are not there in the first photograph of the WH, taken during the residence of James K. Polk and his “Spanish Dona.”

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