I got a question from a chef writing a paper on “meals served to kitchen works in previous administrations from approximately 1800-present.” From the materials I’ve read, there is very little indication of what the staff ate. My guess is that it’s rarely recorded, altho some hint may be obtained from some of the WH cookbooks that have been published. The only anecdote I can think of is that the staff used to pour the remainders of the alcoholic drinks after a party into a basin and add fruit juice to make a nice punch they would share.
I added several more photos from Corbis of press-related areas thru the years, including some great ones of the Press Corps Offices in the old days.
Also, visitor Sandy sent a link to a WaPo article that allows us to speculate that the first mother-in-law is staying in room 327, the large bedroom on the south side of the third floor (bright yellow on the map).
Interesting “what if?” article on the lineage of George Washington and who would be monarch if he had taken a crown. The nut graph (given UK-style descent):
Queen Estella would have reigned from 1918 to her death in 1931, but because her only child had predeceased her, the succession would have swung to her oldest uncle’s branch. He was also deceased, but had two living children from separate marriages. The son, though younger and from the second marriage, would have been given preference, so that would give America a King Lee from 1931 to 1969. Lee also only had one daughter. Like her father, Queen Odelle would have enjoyed a lengthy rule—1969 to 2000. And with her majesty’s passing, we would now be under the dominion of Queen Brynda.
I’d seen this 1920 photo of the Wilsons previously, but hadn’t been able to place it. The mantel looks most like the president’s study in today’s Treaty Room, but the desk would need to be facing the window, which is backwards from what is shown in a slightly earlier picture. It’s not flopped, or their wedding rings would be on wrong and the window light would be at his back. Perhaps the photographer coaxed them into moving the desk to the other side of the room to take best advantage of the light.
Any other guesses?
Weird article on how Michael Bloomberg might alter the West Wing… if he wanted to make it like his current offices…. if he were to become president… if he were to run….
In the previous post comments, visitor Chris wrote:
Hey, on an unrelated note, I have recently come into some information regarding a hidden staircase passage on the first floor.
Would you guys like to know where it is? I wasnt sure if that kind of thing is allowed here.
Yes! Assuming it is used by regular staff and not strictly by the Secret Service or something, I’m definitely interested. I’m aware of a basement mezzanine, eastward tunnel under the East Wing, and (I’ve suspected, at least) another small hidden staircase on the West side, but I don’t have enough information about these to document them.
A comparison of 1948 photos and post-Renovation photos indicates a difference in the distance between window sills and floor level in rooms on the western side of the residence floor. This suggests that the Renovation itself involved elevating the floor level west of the staircase landing, including the landing, perhaps to allow for a shallower pitch to the ramp from the landing to the level of the East Sitting Hall and adjacent suites. Such a change in the floor level, however, would have required a change in the floor of the balcony as well in order to keep it at the same level as the Yellow Oval Room. Attempts to contact likely sources of information on this matter have not been successful. Does anyone have information regarding this matter?
UPDATE: John sent a very informative pic of the door to the balcony.