27 thoughts on “New Flickr pics…wait what the—?

  1. In reply to Peter, I think the marble look you’re referring to is a trick of the light. Bush kept a lot of the wood-grained finish from the Clinton re-do of the Treaty Room, and it looks like Obama has too, judgin from the dado visible in the photo. The window shutter probably looks washed out from the light raking across it.

  2. Thanks Chris. I’m not sure I agree but it’s a good thought. I’m interested in seeing another photo. Seeing the burlap on the walls makes me feel that it’s not much of a stretch that he’d marble the paneling.

  3. More on the new art at http://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/200910082180/obama/white-house/art-collection/1/

    Interesting to comment on the burlap. Might it not actually be grasscloth? But if it is burlap, this wouldn’t be anything new in the White House. Noted in Seale’s authoratative book The President’s House, after the TR renovation of Nineteen Two, most of the family quarter’s walls were covered with burlap to save money. The entire Second Floor Hall was and this remained at least through the Wilsons.

  4. Oh I see what you mean Chris, yeah the varnish on the paneling would indeed make the finish appear lighter and have the outside tree branches along with the sunlight reflecting off.

  5. It also occured to me that the wood graining may be in the process of being refinished/repaired. Personally I like the “burlap” finish. It strikes me as simple, understated, and it lets the architecture of the room speak for itself.

  6. What’s up with the windows?

    This is the first time I have seen where it looks like new modern type windows stalled. I hope they are there to only keep the cold air out in the winter months.

  7. Bullet-proof glass was installed in most of the second floor windows, early in the Clinton administration.

  8. To me, I think certain rooms in the Residence should be decorated as the First Family desires. For the most part the Residence is closed off to the public anyway, so while some may complain about decor choices it’s not really fair since our opinion or desire is not relevant. Given that, I don’t like the burlap look, but if that’s what the President wants then more power to him. To me, the Clinton Treaty Room is my favorite. I liked the dark red walls.

  9. I think it was designer Mark Hampton who took down the Kennedy era decor for the Treaty Room in changes for President George H.W. Bush. I read somewhere that it was the one thing that he wish he could have prevented.

  10. Hi Don, I for one did not like the Kennedy design for the Treaty Room. Those strips of squares arranged in patterns on the walls are not appealing to me. Just a humble opinion though. 🙂

  11. The rooms at the east end of the second floor do have a rather strange status. On the one hand they are not “State Rooms” like the first floor rooms, but they do have a kind of “Semi-State” status. I think this started with the Lincoln Bedroom, but extended to the Queens’ Bedroom and what has variously been called the Monroe Room, Treaty Room, and the President’s Office in the residence. All in all, though, Peter is right. The First Family has the right to decorate these rooms any way they like. They are part of “the Residence” and are for their own use and the use of their guests.

    BTW, the Kennedy Treaty Room was the best (IMHO).

  12. Okay, y’all; help me here. Here is a photo of the Obamas walking back to the WH after last Sunday’s church service at St. John’s Church. Which entrance to the WH is this?

  13. I believe the “Fifth Avenue in the Rain” painting was hung in the corridor outside the Oval Office during the second Bush Administration.

  14. That entrance is actually between the Treasury building and the East Wing on East Executive Avenue. You can see the temporary green building in the background that they are building the visitors entrance inside.

  15. So, the Obamas walked from St. John’s, through Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue, and down East Executive Avenue to the East Wing entrance. I suppose it’s not a big deal, but looking at it from the USSS’s standpoint, every window on every floor of every building along that walking tour had to be checked out and sealed, unless security protocol was overlooked.

    Now, granted, most of those buildings are controlled by the government, but still, when previous presidents worshiped at St. John’s, they took The Beast — the limo — and none of those building inspections needed to be performed.

  16. Rod, I doubt all those windows were checked from the inside, but the counter sniper team would have been doing their work as usual.

  17. The Obamas took the Beast to the church. I have a feeling that it was an impromptu walk back to the White House.

    ALSO, in the new White House flicr photos you can see the new carpeting in the WW. It’s not that bad, actually. Makes the WW look more like an office building than an official building, but that’s not necessarily bad.

  18. I understand that the signing pens in the photo linked below are Cross Townsend rolling ball pens, chrome and black lacquer, made in China. President Bush 43 also used Cross Townsend rolling ball pens, but all blue lacquer.

    They are fairly heavy, quality pens.

  19. Rod, how do you know they are made in China? I believe most of the items the President uses are American made.

  20. I have a few of these pens, in their boxes, from Fahrney’s Pens in Washington, and on the label on each of the boxes, it states: “Made in China”. What isn’t made in China anymore?

  21. It makes no sense to close off that passageway between the Oval Room and the Treaty Rom. It is much too convenient for getting to and from the private rooms without using the frequently busy centerhall.

    Grasscloth wallpaper can hide jib doors much easier than most any other kind.

  22. If you look very closely at the Treaty Room photo you can see a slight discontinutity in the wall fabric. The jib door is still there.

Comments are closed.