Curator’s Office

The Curator's Office in 2008, looking south (C-SPAN)

White House Curator

Since Jacqueline Kennedy got the White House declared a museum in 1961, a White House curator has had offices on the ground floor off the North Hall. The curator acts as historian and chief preserver of the White House's historical furnishings in the same way the curator of any other museum does. This space is about 21 feet by 15 feet.

For the first century of its life, this space was part of the original large kitchen, then furnace room. In the 20th century, it was turned into the servants' dining room. In the 1952 reconstruction, the space was finished as the Broadcast Room for radio and television. But President Eisenhower realized that a windowless, vaulted basement space was no place for a television broadcast.

When the Kennedys established the White House as a museum, as part of the Kennedy renovation, the space was first part of the upholstery shop, then an office for the White House curator.


More Images

The Curator's Office in 2008, looking east (C-SPAN)

The Curator's Office in 1992, looking south (HABS)

The Curator's Office in 1992, looking north (HABS)

Artist's recreation of the space as Curator's Office in 1968 (Life)

The space as upholstery shop, around 1962, during the Kennedy renovation (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

Eisenhower being congratulated after completing a speech in the Broadcast Room in 1954 (Life)

Mamie Eisenhower in the Broadcast Room in 1953 (Corbis)

The Broadcast Room in 1952, after the Truman reconstruction (Truman Library)

The space in 1949, prior to demolition (Life magazine - Thomas Mcavoy)