Washington Sitting Room

The Washington Sitting Room in 1992, looking south (HABS)


Bathroom (Truman Library)

The "Empire Room"

This is a sitting room on the third floor of the White House. It was first built when the Truman reconstruction squared off the third floor corners, when it was furnished as a bedroom.

This is the room Jackie Kennedy called the "Empire Guest Room," and, as part of the Kennedy renovation, furnished in red toile (to complement the "Blue Toile" room in the opposite corner) with a sleigh bed used by President John Adams on loan from the Smithsonian Institution. The fabric's bold pattern was called "Hommage a Franklin" (also known as "Apotheosis of Washington"). On a wall was a collection of 19th-century engravings honoring George Washington.

In 1981, Nancy Reagan worked with designer Ted Graber to remake the room as the Washington Sitting Room, removing the red toile and enhancing the Washington decor theme. In this configuration, the room forms a suite with the bedroom to the west, with which it shares a bathroom.


More Images

The sitting room in 1992, looking northwest (HABS)

The sitting room around 1985, looking south (Reagan Library)

The sitting room in 1981, remade as the Washington Sitting Room, looking south (Architectural Digest - Derry Moore)

The "Empire Bedroom" around 1963, looking northeast (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The "Empire Bedroom" in 1962, looking southeast (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The "Empire Bedroom" in 1963, in red toile, looking northwest (White House Historical Association)

The room in 1960, looking northwest (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The room in 1952, looking northwest (Truman Library)