The New York Times reports that one-time White House chief user Rex Scouten has died. He was 88 and suffered complications after hip surgery. Our best wishes go out to his friends and family.
Scouten served 10 presidents, from Truman to Clinton not only as chief usher from 1969 to 1986 but also previously as a Secret Service agent and afterward as curator. Scouten never wrote a book or otherwise published any memoirs.
Added several new photos of the East Wing and West Wing, mostly from the 1880s to the 1920s.
Patrick Phillips-Schrock, who has long supported and contributed to this site, has recently had his White House book published, and it’s available now on Amazon and from other fine bookmongers.
From Amazon: “This meticulous history, featuring more than 325 photographs, diagrams and other illustrations, captures each stage of the White House’s architectural and decorative evolution.”
Patrick’s contributions to this site have primarily been with fascinating diagrams that show the details of which parts of the White House were constructed and when and what the rooms must have looked like before the time of photography. They can be found dotting the site, such as here, here, here, and here.
UPDATE: I got mine a few days ago, and it’s just fascinating. Patrick goes into great detail about losing proposals, original designs, failed expansions, and renovations. He has great recreations of the various rooms’ decor from the early days. It’s just incredible. Thank you, Patrick!
I’ve added several new images of the Residence from the early 19th century that I found in the Library of Congress. They seem to be slowly adding more of their collection online.