I’ve posted dozens of photos from the Kennedy Library in the last few days. Most are terrific color pictures that fill in areas for that period that I didn’t have good photos for already. An additional few also replace inferior versions of the same photos that I’d found in books and elsewhere.
Added several new photos of the East Wing and West Wing, mostly from the 1880s to the 1920s.
The Washington Post reports that construction going on for years around the West Wing is being completed now, with the fences and such coming down and the equipment silenced. The official line is only that the utilities have been upgraded: sewers, storm drains, steam pipes, and so on, and not that any additional office space, parking, or bomb shelter has been created. If that’s true, it seems like a missed opportunity.
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….
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.
Visitor Mark A has sent me a fantastic picture of the 23 x 30-foot Obama rug for the Oval Office, created by Scott Group Custom Carpets, the same company that created previous carpets for the Oval Office, State Dining Room, and (I believe) Air Force One.
I was able to straighten it out and create a simulated overhead view that is very convincing and fairly high resolution. This adds to our little collection of recreations that include the Bush 2, Clinton, and Reagan rugs, but this is certainly the best of them. Thanks to Mark and special thanks to the Scott Group!
I’ve changed the front page. A little cheeky, perhaps.
I’ve also changed the links on the right, since I took the mirror down months ago. And a couple of weeks ago I added a picture of the VP’s office, with new blue walls. Nice. Too bad we don’t get to see more.
I made some behind-the-scenes changes this weekend and broke most of the images, but they should all be fixed now.
I’ve also added a pic of the President’s Dining Room (a.k.a. Oval Office Dining Room), where the carpet has been changed again.
And I’ve changed the front page image to the Reagan Rose Garden that I used a couple of years ago.
I’ve added several more new photos from the current White House and one of the Family Theater from the 1990s.
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.
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.
I’ve changed to front page again, and I’ve added a few new photos from the White House Flickr feed from the last couple of months. I have some other things to get to as well.
Also, I got this note I’m not sure about. I missed the documentary in question….
Last month, I saw a PBS documentary about the role of the White House photographer, and it showed him, Pete Souza, in his office. The office is identified in the documentary as the former White House barbershop, with the only remnant of its former use being the mirror on the wall.
This contradicts the museum’s photos, which suggest that the Homeland Security Council office is in the former barbershop.
The White House posted a great new collection of photos on the official Flickr feed several days ago. They include not only interesting angles in the new Oval Office, but glimpses of the Dip Room, the state floor rooms, the Cabinet Room, and even the Oval Office Patio. I’ll be adding some of those to the site in the coming days.
Hey! The White House changed the Oval Office decor yesterday! It’s a subtle change, but it looks good. (Thanks to Bob M for the tip and to all those who noted it!)
There aren’t any photos of it up on the White House official stream, so I’m looking for the best source pics to add to the Oval Office page.
PS Thanks for all the birthday wishes!
White House Press Corps stalwart Helen Thomas has announced her retirement in the wake of the controversy around her recent comments about Israel. Thomas, 89, has been a part of the press corps since the early 1960s and traditionally ended all presidential press conferences by saying, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Big update today, with nearly two dozen new photos, mostly recent ones of the Obamas from the official Flickr feed. The photos are from all over, but most from the West Wing.
Sky, the magazine of Delta Airlines, has as their cover story for March some interviews and photos with some of the folks who work in the West Wing, including the president himself. The photos aren’t much to look at (they’re portraits mostly in the EEOB), but the interviews have some pleasant human interest about the pace, the treasure of small moments, and favorite rooms. Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen says the Kennedy Garden. Deputy Assistant Danielle Crutchfield says the West Wing corridors, where the photos on the walls change frequently. Photographer Lawrence Jackson says the Palm Room. Director of Online Programs Jesse Lee says the Diplomatic Room. And the president gives a total cop-out answer (where Michelle and the kids are).
Man up and say “the bathroom with the sports page.”
The White House Flickr feed has some more new photos in and around the White House, including some rarely-seen offices.
Also, I’ve done another search of the Library of Congress holdings and expect to add a few more vintage photos to the grounds and overview pages.
The White House has released a great video showing off the Sit Room.
Thanks to Colton, and also to Pete, who has already done some captures.
I’ve changed the front page to a nice photo of Obama walking thru a corridor in the West Wing with a gift-wrapped present. It’s by Pete Souza, of course, from back in October, but seems appropriately Christmasy.
Visitor “The Subtle Knife” points out that the VP’s office in the West Wing has been repainted blue. Quite a bold choice.
POV vid of the West wing… from a turkey’s eye view.
Thanks to Tinman!
There are some great new photos available on the White House Flickr photostream, including shots of the Halloween decor and photos showing the Oval Office corridor and outer office as well as this great one of the corridor in the ground floor leading to the Navy Mess.
I did another pass thru the Library of Congress and found a few new photos, including the Roosevelt Room before it was even the Fish Room and the Ushers Room and Linen Room. These happen to feature staff, and it’s nice to see Mr. Crim and Mrs. Nesbitt in what are practically portraits.
I also added a couple of brand new photos of the Tennis Court as basketball court.
The September issue of the typewriter enthusiast’s ETCetera Magazine is out, and features an article by Peter Weil detailing the creation and operation of the old White House telegraph and communications room. I’m happy to say that WHM was a help to him in the creation of the article, and he graciously acknowledged the site for information, photos, and diagrams. Thanks, Peter!
Just a few months into the new administration, and fresh and interesting photos of the White House have become few and far between. I’ve been spending most of my time on my other websites, but today, I’ve added a few new pictures that freshen up the Entrance Hall, Situation Room, and Elevator Hall. See the What’s New page.