Will Donald Trump Renovate the White House?
The newly elected US President is used to living in luxury, but before he moves in, let’s take a peek into the history of the White House
After President Obama's two consecutive terms, the White House awaits its next occupant, the newly elected Donald Trump. Will he renovate this famous house to suit his luxurious tastes? The building always had a timeless elegance, and a storied past.
Built in the late 1700s on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., it is one of the most recognizable structures in recent history. Its design and architecture has a rich history as well, starting with its original Neoclassical structure, and its slew of famous interior decorators, ranging from Sister Parish to Jacqueline Kennedy. Here’s a short backgrounder of its storied history and a quick peek at those elegant, multi-hued rooms.
Built in 1792 with its first President (John Adams) occupying it in 1800, the White House had its share of renovations, a fire, and numerous wars over the past 200 years. It was built in the Palladian and Neoclassical style, echoing the palaces of power in the Roman era. Its current façade—the colonnaded, curved South Portico that we see along the avenue, and the pediment-topped North Portico at the back—has remained the same since the 1830s.
The official office of the President of the United States is The Oval Office, located in the West Wing (yes, that West Wing, and not the TV show). The White House is divided into the West Wing with its official offices for the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet; the East Wing; and the Executive Residence, where the First Family lives and where state functions and dinners are held.
This famous yellow-walled office got its current layout during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time in the 1930s, and is decorated in the Georgian style. It is the room with the most amount of traffic from state visitors, world leaders, and the President making decisions for the Free World. Here is its current look, during the Obama administration.
There are three state parlors (identified by color) in the Executive Residence meant for social and state functions, and these were refurbished over the years by different interior decorators—from the famous Sister Parish, to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and Stephanie Boudin, to Michael Smith, who updated the White House for the Obama family with comfortable furniture and modern paintings. The beautiful Red Room, however, is still decorated in the classical style with antiques from the Kennedy and Nixon eras.
Located to the right of the oval Blue Room, the Green Room has remained the same color since the early 1800s, even though it has gone through many redecorations from the Neoclassical style to the Empire style. This is how the Green Room looked during the early 1900s.
One of the most beautiful parlors in the White House is the oval-shaped Blue Room, which is mainly used for receiving long lines of guests. During the Kennedy administration, French interior designer Stephanie Boudin restored the Blue Room to its former glory with graceful swags of blue silk and Monroe-style chairs.
Note: This article has been edited to correspond with recent events.
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