Butler’s Pantry

Butler's Pantry view to the north in 2008 (S. G. Brooks)

The Serving Pantry

The Butler's Pantry is a space that allows food prepared in the kitchen to be raised from the Kitchen Pantry on the ground floor and delivered to the State Dining Room or the Family Dining Room and is therefore sometimes called the "Serving Pantry." The Butler's Pantry includes two dumbwaiters for raising food (and lowering dishes) as well as a small elevator and spiral staircase to allow staff to discreetly go up and down between pantries.

Although subdivided from the adjacent dining room even before the 1814 fire, this room originated in Andrew Jackson's time as a locked "vault" to protect the new silver collection after the steward and his wife were replaced only by a Belgian chef who did not sleep in the mansion with the silver at his bedside.

The low ceiling in the Butler's Pantry allows for a Pastry Kitchen on the mezzanine directly above it.

More Images

President Obama waiting to make his entrance to the National Governors Association meeting in 2010 (White House - Pete Souza)

View throught the window in the door in 2009 (White House - Pete Souza)

Staircase to the Pastry Kitchen in 2008 (History Channel)

Staircase to the Pastry Kitchen in 2008 (History Channel)

Visitors in the Butler's Pantry in 2006 (Spificwoman13)

Butler's Pantry view to the north, circa 2002

Butler's Pantry view to the northwest, circa 2002

Kitchen elevator and (at right) door to the spiral staircase, looking west, circa 2002

Butler's Pantry view to the northwest, 1992 (HABS)

Butler's Pantry view to the southeast, looking into the State Dining Room, 1992 (HABS)

Butler's Pantry in 1952 on moving-in day (Life)

Butler's Pantry view to the north in 1952 as items are being moved in (Truman Library)

Butler's Pantry view to the north in 1952 as work is being completed (Truman Library)

Butler's Pantry view to the north in 1947; the door at left goes to the spiral staircase (Truman Library)

Butler's Pantry view to the north, around 1920; Note the railing of the mezzanine level (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)