Welcome, Mr. Lafferty’s 6th grade class!

I got this a few days ago:

My greatest compliments to you for the wonderful gem that is WhiteHouseMuseum.org!  I am a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher, and your website is an integral part of new year-end project on the White House.  This past Thursday, 53 areas of the White House were divided up among both of my classes, and with any luck many of the students will be clicking their way to WhiteHouseMuseum.org over the course of the next week!

Great to hear! I hope the class enjoys it. Welcome, kids!

Please stop e-mailing me that that’s Eleanor Roosevelt with JFK in the Life pictures

I’ve gotten multiple blog comments and several e-mails confidently guessing that it’s ER walking with JFK in a some of the new photos.

While I personally think its Eisenhower in disguise,  returning to his lair, I’ll add some notation about ER later, but right now Dreamweaver has gone goofy and keeps crashing.* I’ll have to reinstall it this weekend (for those who don’t know: 90% of the time, I’m out of town 100% of the time).

Thank you for your patience.

* If only there were something that could help me to forget today’s pain, fly me high thru the starry skies, maybe to an astral plane.

Semi-secret museum semi-secrets

The addition of pictures to the Sub-Basement page brought up the subject of “semi-secret” WHM pages. These are pages—or even just individual pictures—that you might not be aware of even if your are a fairly thoro visitor to this site. They aren’t semi-secret because of any inherent security concern, but merely because they are labeled or are otherwise unexpected.

The horseshoe pitch is right next to the pool (very clear on Pete’s 3D rendering). There is a link to it on the main Grounds page, but that part of the map is not colored, so you might not have found it. Same goes for the Andrew Jackson milk trough on the south lawn.

First Lady’s Office hall. Just a dude in the hallway outside the First Lady’s Offices, available from the EW second floor page. The East Wing Entrance, altho labeled on the EW first floor page, is easy to miss.

A back staircase photo is available from each of the Residence floor pages by clicking on the staircase next to the Family Elevator.

The Pastry Kitchen is on the first floor mezzanine level and available by a link on the oblique diagram.

The arched hall on the third floor is available from an unlabeled link on the third floor page. The mysterious Bathroom 315, near the Family Elevator, is likewise available, marked only with a “B”. And the third floor storage rooms under the roof have a page of their own as well, with an unlabeled link.

The West Wing Navy Mess reception desk is represented by an unlabeled photo link in the middle of the hall on the WW ground floor. Not far away is an unlabeled link to the Situation Room entrance, altho this is probably different since the area was remodeled.

The West Wing stair corridor and east entry corridor are available from unlabeled links on the WW first floor page. A little lavatory off the Oval Office Corridor is on its page.

Then there’s the Front Page Gallery page, available only from the Site Map page. The Truman Reconstruction page includes a thumbnail of the 1945 WW expansion plan and tiny links to large images of the ground, first, second floor plans, side view and cross section, and a smaller second try at coaxing Congress into paying for it.

Open post: Designing Camelot

Visitor Scott W suggested an open post on the topic of James Abbott and Elaine Rice’s book Designing Camelot. I know I got a lot out of that book, not only on the subject of the Kennedy renovation, but also from the floor plans at the back. If only we had such a work on the other major renovations….

Update: Adding a page for resources, where I’ll list this book and other books, periodicals, and videos recommended for anyone interested in the heritage of the White House.

Happy Holidays

Just a cheerful holiday thought for those who enjoy the site. It really never occurred to me when I started WHM that I would get such enthusiastic suggestions and additions. In regular life, I’m a communications and training consultant, so I normally design and develop materials about custom corporate software tools. I’m used to having a small team of collaboraters and also incorporating the opinions of expert reviewers, so I have little ego about being corrected or told that my layout or navigation could be better. I want the WHM to be the best place online for information about the history and heritage of America’s mansion. Please continue to comment and make suggestions!

And thanks to everyone who has sent me questions, answers, opinions, suggestions, and additions. And a very happy holiday wish!

PS–I’ve posted a link on the Overview page to a 2006 White House holiday tour video on YouTube. It’s not Martin Scorsese, but it’s not Ewe Boll either.

The new curtains

Got a note from visitor Lee pointing out the new curtains around the White House and directing me to some pics of the Library, Vermeil Room, and East Room on Flickr. Good find, Lee! I’ve posted them and am trying to get permission to keep them from the owner, but I can’t find an e-mail address. (Mail me, Amber!)

PS– Dennis is still reporting issues with the Blogger comment system. But I don’t get any problem even when logged out and commenting as a regular user. Anybody else having trouble? I’ll check the Blogger help.

Blog upgrade

I upgraded the weblog to Blogger beta in hopes of finding a smoother interface, but so far it’s kind of awkward and confusing. Please let me know if things are displaying differently or if comments are disabled for anonymous users or anything.

Update: I re-enabled anonymous posting and added the search bar (searches this blog only). Thanks for the comments!