San Francisco

I’ve been working in Sacramento for a while now and traveling home on the weekends (it’s what I do). This weekend, I stayed in California and visited San Francisco. Down on Fisherman’s Wharf, I ran into a surprise: a big copy of the Oval Office Remington bronze Bronco Buster—and, right across the street, the Boudin restaurant (Boudin being the name of the Kennedy’s second interior designer). Not more than 20 feet on was a wax museum chock full of presidents. Lincoln looks a bit hydrocephalic, and Washington looks very angry about having swallowed a bug, but most of them are good. There were more presidents, but it was quite dark, so some of my photos didn’t turn out well at all.

Check out my Fisherman’s Wharf gallery. I’ll be posting more on Lombard street and downtown late tonight. And I hope to get the Golden Gate Bridge before fighting my way back to Sacramento.

PS for photo enthusiasts: the way I got the best photos in the wax museum was not using a flash, which tended to wash out the figures (and trip the proximity alarm) but rather to shoot the figure once, set a custom white balance based on the pic I just shot, then shoot the figure again. They were under various colored lights (yellow, blue, white, and red), so it was a bit arduous. I got it figured out at Napoleon.

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1902 floor plans

Patrick sent me some really fantastic images of White House floor plans from the 1902 Report of the Architects created by McKim, Mead, and White. They nicely fill in some holes and are so detailed that the original versions (click the hi-def links in the caption credits) could be used to build your very own vintage White House mansion, complete with giant steam boiler. Decorate to taste.

Resolute desk

Visitor Ryan is interested in plans for the Resolute desk…

hi, i am looking to start carving and building my own exact replica of the hms resolute desk, i was wondering if you know of the exact measurements of the desk overall size and if any other measurements of it , drawings, and what not. and i fully agree with you on the full replica of the white house and a museum . maybe in 7 years from now when i run for congress i can help you obtain that goal, or if luck is on my side maybe when i am president in 2028.

Does anyone know of any such plans?

Semi-secret museum semi-secrets

The addition of pictures to the Sub-Basement page brought up the subject of “semi-secret” WHM pages. These are pages—or even just individual pictures—that you might not be aware of even if your are a fairly thoro visitor to this site. They aren’t semi-secret because of any inherent security concern, but merely because they are labeled or are otherwise unexpected.

The horseshoe pitch is right next to the pool (very clear on Pete’s 3D rendering). There is a link to it on the main Grounds page, but that part of the map is not colored, so you might not have found it. Same goes for the Andrew Jackson milk trough on the south lawn.

First Lady’s Office hall. Just a dude in the hallway outside the First Lady’s Offices, available from the EW second floor page. The East Wing Entrance, altho labeled on the EW first floor page, is easy to miss.

A back staircase photo is available from each of the Residence floor pages by clicking on the staircase next to the Family Elevator.

The Pastry Kitchen is on the first floor mezzanine level and available by a link on the oblique diagram.

The arched hall on the third floor is available from an unlabeled link on the third floor page. The mysterious Bathroom 315, near the Family Elevator, is likewise available, marked only with a “B”. And the third floor storage rooms under the roof have a page of their own as well, with an unlabeled link.

The West Wing Navy Mess reception desk is represented by an unlabeled photo link in the middle of the hall on the WW ground floor. Not far away is an unlabeled link to the Situation Room entrance, altho this is probably different since the area was remodeled.

The West Wing stair corridor and east entry corridor are available from unlabeled links on the WW first floor page. A little lavatory off the Oval Office Corridor is on its page.

Then there’s the Front Page Gallery page, available only from the Site Map page. The Truman Reconstruction page includes a thumbnail of the 1945 WW expansion plan and tiny links to large images of the ground, first, second floor plans, side view and cross section, and a smaller second try at coaxing Congress into paying for it.