Just in time for the inauguration….

In the immortal words of Stephen Sondheim, “somethin’s comin’, somethin’ good,” only this time it’s not a shooting death in a vacant lot at the hands of a vengeful Puerto Rican street tough. It’s a set of brand new contemporary floor plans in three dimensions and living color by Pete Sharkey.

I’ve added the draft versions of the new plans to the mirror site only for the ground, second, and third floors so far. I stress that these are drafts and may look a little funny. I think I will have to make them smaller eventually when I get the wings, since the wings are wider and may end up too wide to fit on screen.

Not coincidentally, I hereby award Peter Sharkey the Lorenzo Winslow Beauty in Precision Award (the “Winnie”).

Getty image trove

Christina has passed along a passel of photos from the Getty archive that I neglected in my searches (I was focused on the new Situation Room at the time). It’s a dizzying collection of candid moments thruout the Residence mainly from the Johnson and Ford years. I’ll be posting them over the weekend.

In the past, I’ve scraped the brutally ugly watermark off the handful of Getty images I’ve used, leaving a blurry smudge that isn’t necessarily better (the process involves using parts of the tiny thumbnail version). But I’ll post most of these as they are, with links to Getty for proper credit. Hopefully, publishers who can actually afford to pay for images for commercial projects will find them here and jump to the Getty site to buy them and thereby make up for my (credited, noncommercial, educational, public service, fair use) appropriation.

UPDATE: Added several photos from Johnson to Bush 1. I’m not 100% confident about the Ford Beauty Salon photo and I’m baffled by one that I initially thought was the Living Room (formerly president’s bedroom). It doesn’t seem to match the one I already have from that era and the space under the window is missing the characteristic pattered vent.

To Christina, I award the Jackie Kennedy There’s-Got-Be-Some-Decent-Antiques-Here-Somewhere Award. Thanks, Christina!

UPDATE: The votes are in on the Ford sitting room photo; it is surely the Presidential Suite of the Bethesda Naval Hospital after Mrs. Ford’s surgery.

Pete Sharkey: model citizen


Pete has passed along a link to his new blog Wingnut’s Workings, where he is documenting his progress on his fantastic White House models. Anyone who has read this blog should be familiar with his Oval Office and White House exterior models, but now he’s completing the West Wing interior! It will take months to finish, he warns, but already he has dizzyingly gorgeous pics of the Cabinet Room and others. To Pete, I award the Charles McKim Astonishing Accomplishment Loving Cup (the “Charlie Cup”).

Announcing: The White House in 3D

I have just posted a new page to house the latest addition to the site: Pete Sharkey’s incredible 3D White House. Pete has put untold hours into building a complete and highly detailed and accurate Presidential Park with White House extererior and grounds, giving us the opportunity to view it from perspectives we’ve never had before. Look all around the roof, the grounds, the gardens…. It’s amazing.

For those who remember Pete’s fantastic Oval Office replica, this one is only the exterior, so you can’t peak into Laura Bush’s dressing room.

You’ll need to load Google’s SketchUp or SketchUp Viewer (both free) and download the BIG 20 MB file, or you can just look at the many great images on the page. You can use the tour feature (View>Animation>Play) or click on the page tabs on the top of the opened model to see preset views

Thanks, Pete! For diligence, persistence, and patience in toiling in the basement over a hot oven, I hereby award you the Chef Roland Mesnier Baked Mansion Award (the “Rollie”).

Boatload of tourist snaps

Webshots has provided a boatload of snapshots taken by tourists on the 2006 holiday tours and a few others I’d overlooked before from previous years. There are too many to list here (see What’s New), but one is the first “real” pic of the East Wing Lobby!

They may be spelling-challenged, photography-challenged, and memory-challenged, but these tourists are precious to me. In the spirit of the Reathel Odum Distinguished Service Award (and tonight’s Oscars), I award Haleychura, Amber, Cdhopk, Spificwoman13, Sspin55, and all the others the Dan Quayle A for Effort Award.

Update: More touristy goodness!

Google Earth

The new Google Earth is available. The White House is again not pixelated out. And it appears to feature the same or slightly-improved 3D White House. Pete Sharkey is working on a vastly better 3D White House that I just can’t wait for, so I’m including a picture of his West Wing so everyone can encourage him. (if you haven’t examined his 3D Oval Office, you are missing a treat.)

Some automatic links load with Google Earth so that you see little dots that represent more information available on Wikipedia and elsewhere. If anyone can figure out how to make one that links to the White House Museum and/or Pete’s 3D Oval Office, that would be awesome.

Update: Anonymous has pointed us to a commercial 3-D White House and 3-D Oval Office. I don’t much about 3-D software, so I don’t know what you need to view such things.

Update: I hereby award Pete Sharkey the Reathel Odum Award for Distinguished Service (“the Odie”).