11.20.2008

An History of the Oval Office


It's possibly the most recognizable workspace in the world, but the office that President-elect Barack Obama, visited Nov. 10 hasn't always been the enduring symbol of the U.S. presidency. Before the 1930s, the Oval Office was in a different part of the White House. And before that, it wasn't even oval.
The Resolute Desk in B. Harrsion's WH OfficeImage by Monroedb1 via Flickr
The Resolute Desk in B. Harrsion's WH Office
In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt built a rectangular room on the ground floor of the new West Wing addition, replacing offices on the second floor of the White House. William Howard Taft made it into an oval in honor of a symbolic feature of Washington's Philadelphia residence: a room with a bowed end where the first President would stand surrounded by a circle of guests, allowing him to democratically greet each visitor from the same distance. The office was moved to its current location in the southeast corner of the White House in 1934.
President Barack Obama and sec. of State Hilla...Image via WikipediaPresidents have since left their mark on the office (except Jimmy Carter, who kept Gerald Ford's décor). L.B.J. installed a bank of televisions. On the Resolute desk, used by 21 of the past 24 Presidents, Harry Truman placed his THE BUCK STOPS HERE SIGN (the reverse read I'M FROM MISSOURI). And while its darker hours saw Richard Nixon's secret taping sessions and, in adjoining rooms, JFK's and Bill Clinton's trysts, the Oval Office is where the President comes to draw the nation together.
Source: Time Magazine (11-13-08)

1 comment:

  1. oh, i do wish that the oval was turned back into the jfk design/jackie. Dark green, slight gold etc etc.

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