The Washingtonian and others are reporting that the West Wing will have to be vacated next year so that extensive remodeling can be done. The press area and the Situation Room have been renovated recently, but most of the West Wing hasn’t been updated for decades, so this is no huge surprise, particularly with the conspicuous construction being done on the west side for the past few years.
I’m sure it will be a long time before there is any official announcement and longer still before we see pictures, but hopefully, the end result will be a roomier, more comfortable space, probably involving expansion underground that would perhaps include a tunnel to the EEOB.
Derek, not sure if you’ve seen these but there are some great photos of the Red Room, Green Room, State Dining Room, and (I think) the Diplomatic Reception Room here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-01-18-B.aspx You need to scroll down on the mini-roll of photos on the left side to see them.
This week marks a half century since Jacqueline Kennedy gave the world a tour of a refurbished White House.
From my perspective a little more refurbishing might be done, especially in the East Room. There are four windows built into the east wall of that room, but they have been covered since the 19th Century, perhaps to provide for the two fireplaces now found on that wall. It seems to me that the faux wall could be taken out to expose the four windows and still provide for fireplaces between each set of two windows–or eliminate the fireplaces entirely since modern climate control has eliminated the need for them and reduces them to a mere “atmospheric” function for guests.
A view of the exterior of the east façade gives us four openings now framing blank white–nothing.
A similar problem exists on the west façade, doing even more harm to the portal on the west terrace.
I saw at Christmas that the GPA Healy of JQ Adams is on the blue room west wall, where the Healy of Tyler was placed for years. This may be returning the Blue room to Jacqueline Kennedy’s idea of having the first seven Presidents displayed on the blue room walls. ‘Hope the Tyler is still on public view, it is considered the finest in the Healy series-possibly excepting his later Lincoln. On that point, see Sunday’s NY Times about a supposed Francis Carpenter of Mary Todd Lincoln now exposed as a fraud/fake. It was in the Illiniois governor’s mansion.
………oh Duane, don’t get me started on historical accuracy. I agree with you about the windows/fireplace design, but also would include the replacement of the entrance hall columns to the original Hoban design of single columns with a soft arch as shown in the pre-Teddy Roosevelt redecoration of 1902. The current double columns each side seem too heavy handed. While they’re at it, I would welcome the return of the large hall lantern instead of the chandelier. While lovely, there’s a bit of chandelier madness on the state floor.