North Hall

The corridor in 2004, looking south (rita86)

Storage Hall

This space is used to store many of the chairs and rugs necessary to conduct social events at the White House. It's about 28 feet by 15 feet.

For the first century of its life, this space was part of the old kitchen and furnace room. In his memoirs, Chief Usher Ike Hoover described the kitchen in 1891:

In the kitchen of the original house, now an engine-room, could be seen the old open fireplaces once used for broiling the chickens and baking the hoecakes for the early Fathers of our country, the old cranes and spits still in place.

In the 1952 reconstruction, that space was finished as the Broadcast Room for radio and television. With great fanfare, Dwight Eisenhower made the first White House television broadcast from here in 1953. But it was clear that a windowless, vaulted basement was no place for a president to be seen, and the space was soon subdivided for use as an upholstery shop for all the antiques Jacqueline Kennedy found in storage and acquired from donors.

Later, part of it was turned into the Curator's Office and other offices.


More Images

Detail of the south door showing scorching from the 1814 fire (HABS)

The corridor in 1992, looking north into the Basement (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)

The prompters for 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)