Tuesday, January 20, 2009

White House

President Barack Obama might want a map for his new Georgian Neoclassical address...the place has 132 rooms.

the original building was designed by James Hoban, an Irishman who may have based his contest-winning plan on Leinster House in Ireland (now home to the Irish Parliament).

NCWyeth painting

during the war of 1812, the building was burned down by British/Canadian soldiers...this is probably the only fact i have always remembered from my high school history class. the damage led to a white-washing of the stonework…which is why the building came to be known as “the White House”. the name became official in 1901 under Teddy Roosevelt.

to bring all this up-to-date, the Obamas have already chosen their decorator–Michael S. Smith from Santa Monica will redo the private rooms for the First Family. Smith is known for child-friendly combinations of formal antiques & more contemporary fabrics, which sounds like a sensible combo for the White House.

Michael S Smith interior

for their decor, the Obamas will be able to wade through the 40,000 sqft warehouse of White House furnishings; since the Kennedy administration, nothing has been thrown out. i wonder if that includes old holiday decorations?

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