Original elevator?

Possible original White House elevatorA routine search of the Library of Congress called up this tantalizing gem: an old cage elevator etching labeled “D.C. Wash. White House. North portico. Bordered with 8 state seals and busts of10 presidents” and “This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.” and “c1907”. The caption is obviously wrong, but if it really is something to do with the White House, then it’s surely the original elevator or second elevator (I think there have been four).

Then there’s this interesting pic of JFK in what is clearly a White House elevator, but which floor? There is a dead end where the staircase should be, which is a little baffling. Since he’s with Caroline (or is that Eleanor Roosevelt?) he could be going to her classroom on the third floor. The golf clubs suggest a part of the family quarters, maybe the sub-basement.

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5 thoughts on “Original elevator?

  1. The JFK pix looks like it is at the ground floor. His golf clubs are against the wall, and he would use them to play on the green on the south lawn. I don’t think that is a dead end wall; the doorway to the staircase should be slightly to the left of the camera’s view. The President is dressed in evening clothes and probably was headed for the south entrance to get into a car and say good-bye to his daughter for the night.

  2. I’d have to agree that it is the ground floor elevator lobby. When I was at the White House in 1985 these were the same style of doors to the Ground Floor Corridor as in this picture.

  3. He is dressed for his swearing in. Note the striped pants and vest. I could be Jan 20 1961 in the ground floor corridor.

  4. Checking the floor plan you can see the dead-end is actually a wall that does exist. I’m sure the doorway to the stair landing is just to the left out of the view of the photo.

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