Real news

I added a couple of new photos yesterday (inauguration day) that I got from the White House official stream.

Also, I hope to have some big news in the next few days….

Truman gest busy

My hat is off to Matthew, who directed me to a terrific find…

The December 13, 1948 issue of Life magazine, wherein President Truman’s East Wing and West Wing first floors are diagrammed with offices designated. What a find! The fun starts on page 35….

Thanks, Matthew!

I’ve added images of the wing diagrams and ordered a copy of the magazine from eBay. When that comes, I’ll scan it and re-do the diagrams so the labels are more readable.

What do these images tell us that we didn’t already know? Well, they show that we (Pete Sharkey and I) have the East Wing elevator on the wrong side of the corridor, and that the main hall there is a little too wide, which distorts our depiction of the offices on the east side. It’s hard to say what the modern orientation of rooms is, since walls may have been moved in the past 64 years, so I’ll leave those as they are. The West Wing diagram shows that the swimming pool dressing rooms were still very likely intact and generally clarifies the north side. And of course both diagrams show who occupied which offices, which is of historical interest.

Treasure troves

Google has recently released their Museum View of the White House as part of their Google Art Project. It’s pretty cool and, altho it’s not exactly an all-access pass, the nature of wheeling a set of cameras thru the building shows some interesting views that we don’t normally ever see.

They’ve also documented a fair number of art works in the White House, ranging from paintings to furniture to swords. They even categorize them by location, which is interesting, altho it seems hard to maintain, since art and furniture get moved around quite a bit.

Also the Gerald Ford Library has posted a big collection of images in, as one would guess about such matters, the least convenient format available to humans. They are PDFs that contain lists of links with no thumbnails to high-resolution* scans of crude contact prints of rolls of slide film, organized by day, complete with grease pencil circles obscuring the best shots.

* High enough resolution that they take forever to load but not enough to be useful to me, since each frame ends up being only about 280 pixels across. *sigh*

 

Thanks to Mike B and Jason B!

An Historic Guide

The White House: An Historic GuideI got an e-mail notice today that the new An Historic Guide is available, so I ordered mine. It’s been available for a little while, but I just got the notice.

I’m looking forward to official pics of the new Press Briefing Room and the walk-thru of the exterior, but I don’t think it will be all that amazing. I do recommend the White House History books tho. They’re wonderful.

JFK photos released

Stephen M notes that the JFK Library has released 1000+ digitized photos of from the Kennedy administration, including many never-before-seen images. There are some great ones of the China and Vermeil rooms and some rooms upstairs and even on the third floor.

Search their digital archives.

And if you figure out how we can download the full-sized image, please post a comment here. These are public domain photos. American taxpayers paid for them. We should have them in their highest-quality form.

An Historic Guide

Stephen M reports that the WHHA says:

The White House: An Historic Guide is temporarily out of print.  A new
edition is currently in production and will be released in early 2011.  It
will include updated text and photographs and will mark the 50th anniversary of the guide and the association.

We will post ordering information on our website soon.

So a new edition is in the works. Hooray!