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State Dining Room

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Title: State Dining Room  
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Subject: State dinner, Red Room (White House), East Room, White House Chief Floral Designer, Grand Staircase (White House)
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State Dining Room

The State Dining Room is the larger of two dining rooms on the State Floor of the Executive Residence of the White House, the home of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C. It is used for receptions, luncheons, larger formal dinners, and state dinners for visiting heads of state on state visits. The room seats 140 and measures approximately 48 by 36 feet (15 by 11 m).

Originally office space, the State Dining Room received its name during the presidency of James Monroe, at which time it was first extensively furnished. The room was refurbished during several administrations in the early to mid 1800s, and gasified in 1853. Doors were cut through the west wall in 1877. The State Dining Room underwent a major expansion and renovation in 1902, transforming it from a Victorian dining room into a "baronial" dining hall of the early 19th century—complete with stuffed animal heads on the walls and dark oak paneling. The room stayed in this form until the White House's complete reconstruction in 1952.

The 1952 rebuilding of the White House retained much of the 1902 renovation, although much of the "baronial" furnishings were removed and the walls were painted celadon green. Another major refurbishment from 1961 to 1963 changed the room even further, more closely approximating an Empire style room with elements from a wide range of other periods. Incremental changes to the room were made throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with major refurbishments of the furnishings in 1998 and 2015.


  • Early history 1
    • The Jefferson office 1.1
    • Transformation into the State Dining Room 1.2
    • Changes in the early to mid 1800s 1.3
    • Changes in the mid to late 1800s 1.4
  • 1902 Roosevelt renovation 2
  • 1952 Truman reconstruction 3
  • Kennedy renovation 4
    • Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush refurbishments 4.1
  • Clinton renovation 5
  • Obama renovation 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • For further reading 9
  • External links 10

Early history

The Jefferson office

The northern third of what is now the State Dining Room was originally the western part of the Cross Hall. Two flights of stairs (one against the north wall, one against the south wall) led from the State Floor to the Second Floor. A single, central stair then led up to the Third Floor (then an attic).[1] Not completed when the White House was occupied in 1800, the Grand Stairs were probably finished by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1803 or shortly thereafter.[1] To the south of the Grand Stair was a small room, designated by Hoban for use as a Cabinet Room or President's Library.[2][3]

President Thomas Jefferson used the State Dining Room as his primary office from 1801 to 1809. The room was only sparsely furnished at this time, with only a desk and chairs. He also kept his gardening tools in the room, and an assortment of potted plants.[4] The floor was covered with canvas, painted green.[5]

Jefferson's successor, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were hung on the walls.[4] The Washington image was a copy of the Lansdowne portrait, a full-length, life-size figure of the first President painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.[6] A silver service and a blue-and-gold china service purchased from the Lowestoft Porcelain Factory in England were used for dining.[7] The canvas flooring was removed, and an ingrain carpet (a form of inexpensive, flatwoven carpet installed.[8] Otherwise, the room remained only sparsely furnished.[4]

Transformation into the State Dining Room

The White House was burned on August 24, 1814, by the British Army during the War of 1812. The Landsdowne copy was saved from destruction by doorman Jean Pierre Sioussat and White house gardener Tom Magraw, who cut it from its elaborate frame and spirited it away from the White House just minutes before British troops arrived.[9][10]

The White House was reconstructed in 1817,[11] after which the Cabinet Room/Presidential Library was called the State Dining Room.[1] The reconstruction added an extensive chimney breast to the fireplace in the room's west wall.[12]

The State Dining Room was extensively furnished at this time. President James Monroe, rather than First Lady Elizabeth Monroe (who was in fragile physical health), was primarily responsible for making decorative decisions for the White House.[8] Monroe decided to have the walls of the State Dining Room covered in green silk.[5] Two Italian Carrara marble mantels, featuring Neoclassical caryatids on either side, were also bought by Monroe and installed over the two fireplaces in this room.[13][14]

One of Monroe's most important purchases were several ornamental ormolu (or bronze doré) pieces to furnish the State Dining Room.[4] The surtout de table centerpiece,[1] crafted by Deniére et Matelin in France, was 14 feet (4.3 m) long when fully extended.[16] The piece had seven sections, each 24 inches (61 cm) long, which could be removed or inserted as needed to adjust the length.[17] It had a mirrored floor, and garlands of fruit and flowers formed the rim. Seventeen bacchantes (personifications of the female servants of Bacchus, the ancient Roman god of wine) standing on orbs, their outstretched arms holding candleholders, cold be inserted into small rectangular pedestals at equidistant points around the centerpiece.[17] Although surtout de table were common in elegant English and French dining rooms, few Americans had seen them and the piece deeply impressed those who saw it.[18] Other ormulu items included three pedestals for crystal vases (one large, two small), consisting of the Three Graces holding up a basket; three porcelain vases in the Etruscan style and ornamented with festoons of flowers; and a pair of pedestal stands, or trepieds, consisting of sphinxes sitting on slender legs, their upraised wings supporting a shallow bowl.[18]

Monroe also ordered the White House's first tableware and dinnerware. These included 72 silver place settings, which included an unknown number of serving dishes, platters, tureens, chafing dishes, and other items. These were manufactured by Jacques Henri Fauconnier of Paris.[14][2] Thirty-six vermeil (gold-gilt silver) flatware settings, manufactured by J. B. Boitin of Paris, were also purchased.[14][3] A thirty-setting gilt porcelain china service was also purchased, although its design and manufacturer are not known as no pieces are know to exist today.[14] A few items of the accompanying 166-piece, 30-setting dessert service, manufactured by Dagoty et Honoré in Paris, have survived. The dessert plates for this amaranth-on-white china service feature a Napoleonic eagle in the center. Five vignettes, representing agriculture, strength, commerce, science, and arts, are set into the broad, red rim.[19]

Changes in the early to mid 1800s

State Dining Room during the Pierce administration (1853 to 1857). Note the use of the Polk chairs.

President Andrew Jackson had the dining room wallpapered some time after 1829. The paper was purchased from French-born Louis Véron, a Philadelphia fine furnishings purveyor. This material, which was blue, green, yellow, and white and with a scattering of gold stars and gilt borders, was used in most of the rooms on the State Floor.[20] Some time during 1833 and 1834, Veron supplied mirrors as well,[21] and carpeting from Belgium[22][23] and new mahogany[24] dining room chairs from Alexandria, Virginia, cabinetmaker James Green also helped refurbish the room.[22]

Heavy crowds in the White House during the Jackson administration left the mansion in shabby condition. President Martin Van Buren purchased a new, 30-foot (9.1 m) table for the State Dining Room, and reupholstered the chairs in gold and blue fabric.[25] Blue and yellow drapes and rugs complimented the chairs.[24] At some point, the mantels over the fireplace had been replaced with new ones of black marble, and three chandeliers now lit the room.[24]

Although little upkeep was made to the White House during the administrations of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler due to a national depression, President James K. Polk redecorated the State Dining Room in 1845. New purple and gold drapes were hung in the room, and 42 rosewood balloon-back[4] side chairs with cabriole legs and a heart-shaped crest. They were upholstered in purple velvet and manufactured by New York City furniture maker Charles Baudouine.[27]

President Franklin Pierce completely refurbished the room in 1853. The chandeliers were converted to natural gas, the wood moldings and dado rails replaced, the room replastered and repainted, and new carpets and drapes provided.[28] It is likely that Anthony and Henry Jenkins, furniture makers from Baltimore, crafted four walnut side tables for Pierce, and that these were later used in the State Dining Room.[29]

A large greenhouse was added to the west side of the White House by President Pierce in 1857, replacing one on the east side which had been torn down that year to make way for expansion of the Treasury Building.[30]

Although First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln refurbished most of the rooms in the White House in 1861, there is scant evidence to indicate she did much to the State Dining Room. However, the room was used by Francis Bicknell Carpenter as an artist's workshop as he painted First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln from February to July 1864.[31]

Changes in the mid to late 1800s

The western greenhouse burned down in 1867, and in 1869 President Ulysses S. Grant built a larger, taller greenhouse in its place.[32] Grant also rebuilt the Grand Stair at this time, so that only a single staircase against the north wall led to the Second Floor. (A second stair on the south wall of the Second Floor led to the Third Floor.)[33] Later presidents expanded the greenhouse further,[32] and after it was turned into a palm court in 1877 by President Rutherford B. Hayes new doors were cut through the stone of the mansion's walls to provide access between the Palm Court and State Dining Room.[34]

Minor furnishing changes were made in the intervening years. In 1880, First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes installed a new carpet and lace curtains in the State Dining Room. She also purchased two Victorian candelabra for $125 each ($3,055 in 2016 dollars) from Tiffany & Co.. The three-tiered items, featuring floral garlands and the heads of satyrs and reclining children at the base, were probably made in Europe (their manufacturer is not known) and have remained in the room ever since.[35]

1902 Roosevelt renovation

State Dining Room after the 1902 renovation.

The White House was extensively renovated in 1902 after the

  • White House Web site

External links

  • Abbott, James A. A Frenchman in Camelot: The Decoration of the Kennedy White House by Stéphane Boudin. Boscobel Restoration Inc.: 1995. ISBN 0-9646659-0-5.
  • Abbott James A., and Elaine M. Rice. Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration. Van Nostrand Reinhold: 1998. ISBN 0-442-02532-7.
  • Clinton, Hillary Rodham. An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History. Simon & Schuster: 2000. ISBN 0-684-85799-5.
  • McKellar, Kenneth, Douglas W. Orr, Edward Martin, et al. Report of the Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion. Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion, Government Printing Office: 1952.
  • Seale, William. The President's House. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 1986. ISBN 0-912308-28-1.
  • Wolff, Perry. A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Doubleday & Company: 1962.
  • The White House: An Historic Guide. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 2001. ISBN 0-912308-79-6.

For further reading

  • Abbott, James A.; Rice, Elaine M. (1998). Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.  
  • Brooklyn Museum (1979). The American Renaissance, 1876-1917. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Pantheon Books.  
  • Brown, Glenn (January 1916). "Personal Reminiscences of Charles Follen McKim". Architectural Record: 84–88. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  • Brown, Glenn (December 17, 1919). "Roosevelt and the Fine Arts". The American Architect: 739–752. 
  • Brown, Glenn (1931). 1860-1930: Memories. Washington, D.C.: Press of W.F. Roberts Company. 
  • Buckland, Gail; Culbert-Aguilar, Kathleen (1994). The White House in Miniature: Based on the White House Replica by John, Jan, and the Zweifel Family. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.  
  • Butler, Joseph T.; Johnson, Kathleen Eagen; Skibinski, Ray (1985). Field Guide to American Antique Furniture. New York: Henry Holt.  
  • Cassidy-Geiger, Maureen (2015). "Epergnes". In Goldstein, Darra. The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. New York: Oxford University Press.  
  • Creekmore, Betsey Beeler (1968). Traditional American Crafts. New York: Hearthside Press. 
  • Detweiler, Susan G. (2008). American Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. New Haven, Conn.: Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press.  
  • Dietz, Ulysses G. (2009). Dream House: The White House as an American Home. New York: Acanthus Press.  
  • Emerson, Jason (2012). Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press.  
  • Harris, Bill (2002). The White House: An Illustrated Tour. Philadelphia: Courage Books.  
  • Jennings, Paul (1865). A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison. Brooklyn: G.C. Beadle. 
  • Klara, Robert (2013). The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence. New York: Thomas Dunne Books.  
  • Monkman, Betty C. (2000). The White House: Its Historic Furnishings & First Families. New York: White House Historical Association.  
  • Peatross, C. Ford; Scott, Pamela; Tepfer, Diane; Freudenheim, Leslie Mandelson (2005). Capital Drawings: Architectural Designs for Washington, D.C., from the Library of Congress. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  • Phillips-Schrock, Patrick (2013). The White House: An Illustrated Architectural History. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company.  
  • Remini, Robert V. (1998). Andrew Jackson. Volume 3: The Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  • "Restoration of the White House". The American Architect and Building News: 67–70. February 28, 1903. 
  • Ross, Betty (1986). A Museum Guide to Washington, D.C.: Museums, Historic Houses, Art Galleries, Libraries, and Special Places Open to the Public in the Nation's Capital and Vicinity. Washington, D.C.: Americana Press.  
  • Ross, Ishbel (1973). The President's Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln, A Biography. New York: Putnam.  
  • Scott, Stuart D. (2004). To the Outskirts of Habitable Creation: Americans and Canadians Transported to Tasmania in the 1840s. New York: iUniverse.  
  • Seale, William (2001). The White House: The History of an American Idea. Washington, D.C.: White House Historical Association.  
  • Snow, Peter (2014). When Britain Burned the White House: The 1814 Invasion of Washington. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press.  
  • Truman, Margaret (1995). First Ladies: An Intimate Group Portrait of White House Wives. New York: Fawcett.  
  • Wallner, Peter A. (2007). Franklin Pierce. Volume 2. Concord, N.H.: Plainswede Publishing.  
  • Watson, Robert P. (2004). "At Home With the First Families". In Watson, Robert P. Life in the White House: A Social History of the First Family and the President's House. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press.  
  • White House Historical Association (1995). The White House: An Historic Guide. Washington, D.C.: White House Historical Association.  
  • Wiencek, Henry; Lucey, Donna M. (1999). National Geographic Guide to America's Great Houses: More Than 150 Outstanding Mansions Open to the Public. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.  


  1. ^ a b c Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 120.
  2. ^ Peatross et al. 2005, p. 93.
  3. ^ Harris 2002, p. 87.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Buckland & Culbert-Aguilar 1994, p. 35.
  5. ^ a b c Ross 1986, p. 148.
  6. ^ Snow 2014, p. 19.
  7. ^ Truman 1995, p. 26.
  8. ^ a b Dietz 2009, p. 55.
  9. ^ Snow 2014, p. 108.
  10. ^ Jennings 1865, p. 15.
  11. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 125.
  12. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 141.
  13. ^ White House Historical Association 1995, p. 58.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Monkman 2000, p. 71.
  15. ^ Cassidy-Geiger 2015, pp. 240-241.
  16. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 66.
  17. ^ a b Creekmore 1968, p. 85.
  18. ^ a b Monkman 2000, p. 69.
  19. ^ Detweiler 2008, p. 36.
  20. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 86.
  21. ^ Monkman 2000, pp. 89-90.
  22. ^ a b Monkman 2000, p. 90.
  23. ^ Remini 1998, p. 391.
  24. ^ a b c Scott 2004, p. 56.
  25. ^ Monkman 2000, pp. 92-93.
  26. ^ Butler, Johnson & Skibinski 1985, p. 72.
  27. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 103.
  28. ^ Wallner 2007, p. 4.
  29. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 117, 136-137.
  30. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 48.
  31. ^ Ross 1973, p. 201.
  32. ^ a b Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 51.
  33. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, pp. 120-123.
  34. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, pp. 120, 141.
  35. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 156.
  36. ^ Monkman 2000, pp. 185-186.
  37. ^ Monkman 2000, p. 186.
  38. ^ Phillips-Schrock 2013, pp. 60-61.
  39. ^ Seale 2001, p. 174.
  40. ^ a b Klara 2013, p. 195.
  41. ^ a b c Abbott & Rice 1998, p. 58.
  42. ^ a b c Brown 1916, p. 88.
  43. ^ a b c d e f Seale 2001, p. 119.
  44. ^ a b c d e Phillips-Schrock 2013, p. 124.
  45. ^ a b c Wiencek & Donna M. 1999, p. 95.
  46. ^ Dietz 2009, p. 176.
  47. ^ a b Restoration of the White House 1903, p. 70.
  48. ^ a b c Brown 1916, p. 86.
  49. ^ Brown 1919, p. 745.
  50. ^ a b c d e Monkman 2000, p. 187.
  51. ^ Brooklyn Museum 1979, p. 150.
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Koncious, Jura (June 26, 2015). "Obama Legacy Includes a New Look for White House's State Dining Room". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  53. ^ Randolph, John A. (July 1916). "Lighting the Presidential Mansion". Lighting Journal. p. 144. 
  54. ^ Brown 1931, p. 119.
  55. ^ Emerson 2012, pp. 511-512, fn. 78.
  56. ^ a b Watson 2004, p. 27.
  57. ^ Klara 2013, p. 202.
  58. ^ Klara 2013, p. 227.
  59. ^ a b c d Buckland & Culbert-Aguilar 1994, p. 37.
  60. ^ a b Dietz 2009, p. 262.
  61. ^ a b c d Fogarty, Kate Hensler (March 2000). "Hillary+Kaki". Interiors. p. 202. 
  62. ^ Ross, Nancy L. (June 23, 1988). "New Presidential Rug". The Washington Post. p. HO11. 
  63. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (January 14, 1998). "Tourist at White House Defaces 2 Sculptures With Spray Paint". The Washington Post. p. B1. 
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i Koncius, Jura (December 24, 1998). "Dining in Style". The Washington Post. p. T5. 
  65. ^ Elving, Belle (August 8, 1996). "The Men Who Wood Be President". The Washington Post. p. T5. 
  66. ^ Fleming, Lee (July 23, 1998). "Floor Repair: What's New Underfoot". The Washington Post. p. 7. 
  67. ^ a b c d e Superville, Darlene (July 7, 2015). "First Lady Gives New Look to State Dining Room". Associated Press. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  68. ^ Gerhart, Ann; Roberts, Roxanne (September 5, 2001). "At Last, the Bush White House Is Ready to Party". The Washington Post. p. C1. 
  69. ^ a b c d "Michelle Obama Reveals Her 'Modest' $590k Changes to White House State Dining Room". Daily Mail. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  70. ^ a b Lynch, Rene (July 9, 2015). "A $590,000 Makeover for the White House's State Dining Room". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  71. ^ a b c d e f White House Historical Association (June 2015). White House State Dining Room Fact Sheet (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C. p. 4. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  1. ^ A surtout de table, loosely translated as "crown for the table" and also known as a plateau, was a richly detailed centerpiece used to hold fruit, desserts, savories, or liqueurs. They usually made of gold-gilt bronze or brass, but silver or porcelain ones were also common. The centerpiece usually stood on small legs, and its floor was often mirrored. It had a finely wrought rim, usually depicting fruit, leaves, vines, animals, bacchantes, or putti. The plateau often came in sections, so it could be expanded or reduced as needed. The centerpice often had slots in the rim or floor where removeable statuettes, candelabra, or pedestals on which small serving plates could be inserted.[15]
  2. ^ Only two soup tureens have survived into the late 20th century.[14]
  3. ^ Only a few pearl-handled fruit knives survived into the 20th century.[14]
  4. ^ The balloon-backed chair is so named because its back resembles the shape of a hot air balloon: Curved around a center point, moving vertical and then back and outward.[26]
  5. ^ This mantel, of unpolished gray stone[41] from Worcester, England,[42] was originally carved with lion's heads. Roosevelt wanted animals more representative of the United States, and ordered them recarved into bison heads.[43]
  6. ^ McKim ordered the ceiling painted seven times in order to achieve the correct shade of gray.[48]
  7. ^ These included American bison, elk, moose, and white-tailed deer, among others.[43]
  8. ^ The exact style of these side tables is not clear. White House Curator Betty C. Monkman said they were Italian in design,[50] but the Brooklyn Museum says they are in the style of English architect William Kent.[51]
  9. ^ Michael S. Smith, an interior designer and friend of the Obamas, is a member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.[52]
  10. ^ There are two identical rugs, which are regularly switched to reduce wear and tear and allow for cleaning.[70]


The White House Endowment Trust paid for the $590,000 renovation.[52][67]

[52].Brunschwig & Fils, and the fabric by Hickory, North Carolina The chairs were manufactured by Baker Furniture in [69][67] fabric in a grid-like pattern, and trimmed with brass nailheads.horsehair All the chairs are upholstered in brown [71] The side chairs are an adaptation of this design.[71][52] The look of the Obama armchairs is based on chairs designed by [52] The new chairs were designed to be multifunctional, and fit with both the heavy, main dining table as well as smaller dining rounds.[71] The set includes six armchairs and 28 side chairs.[52] A new set of 34 mahogany chairs replaced the Theodore Roosevelt-era Chiavari chairs, which had proved too large and cumbersome.

The new silk window draperies are ecru in color, accented with stripes of peacock blue intended to mimic the Kailua blue color of the White House china (which in turn mimics the waters of President Obama's home state of Hawaii).[67][69] Fabric for the draperies was manufactured by an undisclosed firm in Pennsylvania.[52] The window valances feature heavy swags, with gold bullion fringe, and reflect similar window treatments from the 1800s.[52] The drapes hang from carved and gilded poles[70] whose design echoes that of similar drapery poles in the Red Room and Green Room.[71] The walls and moldings were repainted in various shades of white and glazed, to highlight their details.[52]

On June 25, 2015, a renovated State Dining Room was unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama.[52] Mrs. Obama and the Committee for the Preservation of the White House began planning the renovation in 2012.[52][69][9] The first element of the renovation, a 28-by-43-foot (8.5 by 13.1 m) carpet, was installed in 2012.[52][69] The wool rug,[10] woven by Scott Group Custom Carpets, features a border of wreaths surrounding a field of mottled light blue accented by clusters of oak leaves.[52][71] The carpet's design mimics the plaster molding of the ceiling.[52][71]

By 2011, the heavy wear and tear on the State Dining Room had taken a heavy toll on the rugs and drapes in State Dining Room.[52]

Obama renovation

[52] were often removed for meals and replaced with smaller chairs from elsewhere in the White House, as they proved too bulky to accommodate large numbers of guests around dining tables.[67] The gold-upholstered chairs[68] The Clintons were also the first to use the

In December 1998, First Lady Barbara Bush), and the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.[64] The room's walls were repainted a light stone color.[52] The pedestal console tables were stripped of paint which mimicked white marble with gold veining, and their original mahogany finish was restored.[61] The room's 66 chairs were reupholstered in a gold damask.[64] New ivory silk draperies, manufactured by F. Schumacher & Co.,[61] with printed full-color baskets, flowers, and ribbons replicating a 1901 damask design used by the firm, replaced the solid gold fabric drapes of the 1980s.[67] The drapes were designed to reflect the color pattern of the White House china.[64] A $113,031 ($163,546 in 2016 dollars), 43-by-28-foot (13.1 by 8.5 m) carpet with a floral medallion pattern was also installed.[64] The carpet was woven by Scott Group Custom Carpets in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[64] The 1902 silver plated chandelier and the wall sconces—last gilded in 1961—were refinished, repaired, rewired, and cleaned.[61] Sources differ as to the cost, with one putting it at $270,507[64] ($391,401 in 2016 dollars) and another at $341,000[52] ($493,399 in 2016 dollars), but the cost was paid for by the White House Endowment Trust.[64] The Clinton refurbishment was not as successful as hoped. White House Curator William G. Allman noted that at night, the lack of backlighting from outside tended to make the drapes fade into the walls.[52]

By the early 1990s, more than 50,000 people a year were being entertained in the State Dining Room. The heavy use left the room shabby and in need of significant repair and conservation.[64]

The State Dining Room after the Clinton renovation, set for a state dinner during the administration of George W. Bush.

Clinton renovation

During the white oak, manufactured by Kentucky WoodFloors,[65] was installed by Mountain State Floors (a West Virginia company) in a herringbone pattern.[66]

First Lady Nancy Reagan hung new gold silk draperies designed by interior designer Ted Graber.[64] She initially had the room repainted antique white in 1981, but in 1985, the room was painted off-white with an umber glaze.[59]

In 1973, a man and woman broke away from the public tour of the White House and splashed six vials of blood on the walls and some of the furniture in the State Dining Room. The couple said they were protesting the status of oppressed people everywhere.[63]

In 1967, Lady Bird Johnson oversaw the installation of new draperies, based on a design created by Stephane Boudin shortly before President Kennedy's assassination, as well as reupholstery of the 1902 chairs. First Lady Pat Nixon worked with White House curator Clement Conger to refresh the room in 1971. She had the room painted antique white in 1971 after the Kennedy-era paint proved too bright,[59] and she replaced the Kennedy-era carpet with one of Indian manufacture.

Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush refurbishments

McKim's mahogany consoles were painted to mimick white marble with gold veining,[61] and the eagle supports and bowknots were gilded.[4] The new color scheme for those pieces were intended to make the pieces blend into the paneling. A new carpet, a copy of one Boudin designed for damask draperies installed during the Truman administration were retained.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy worked with American antiques expert Henry Francis du Pont and French interior designer Stéphane Boudin on the restoration of the State Dining Room. Du Pont and Boudin both recommended that changes should emphasize the earlier work of McKim. The paneling was repainted bone white,[59][60] the silver plate chandelier and wall sconces were gilded,[60] and the pilaster-mounted sconces reinstalled on the side panels, bringing more focus to the pilasters. The Truman presidential library declined to return the "Buffalo mantel" to the White House, so a reproduction was made and installed.[41]

Kennedy renovation

During the 1948-to-1952 reconstruction of the White House, the State Dining Room was radically redecorated. The "Buffalo mantel" was replaced with a simple [40] The oak paneling, heavy damaged during its removal, was reinstalled and given a coat of bright celadon green to hide the flaws.[57] (Some of the frieze had to be recarved where it had been sanded down to accommodate the stuffed animal heads.)[58] A set of reproduction Chippendale-style sidechairs replaced McKim's Queen Anne-style chairs at the dining table.

Systematic failure of the internal wood beam structure required reconstruction during the administration of Harry S. Truman. The building was dismantled and an internal steel superstructure was constructed within the sandstone walls. While providing critically needed repairs, much of the original interior materials were damaged or not reinstalled. The State Dining Room, more than any room, had the majority of its wall and ceiling materials reinstalled.

[45] "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."[56] written the second night he lived in the White House:Abigail to his wife John Adams The inscription was taken from a letter by [56] Roosevelt also added an inscription to the "Buffalo mantel".[55] The room remained largely unchanged until 1952. One of the few changes made was the addition of a painting,

1952 Truman reconstruction

A silver-plated chandelier and wall sconces were designed by McKim and manufactured and installed by Edward F. Caldwell & Co.[48] The chandelier was of a unique design, as it contained no glass or crystal. Instead, it consisted of individual candelabra, each supported by curved piping (a gooseneck). Each gooseneck was attached to the central body, and the entire chandelier hung from the ceiling by a chain.[53] The chandelier proved 6 inches (15 cm) too wide, and had to be taken down and altered.[54] What other furnishings were needed were drawn from the pre-1902 items in the room.[44]

To furnish the room, Stanford White designed William and Mary oak armchairs with caned backs and Queen Anne style mahogany side chairs.[50] Based on furniture in his own home, he also designed two small and one large mahogany side tables with marble tops and carved wooden eagle pedestals.[50][4][8] All these pieces of furniture were manufactured by A. H. Davenport and Company of Boston.[50] Large, heavy Chiavari chairs were also used in the room.[52] The serving table was placed against the north wall, and the two console tables on the east wall.

The furnishing of the White House (including the State Dining Room) was overseen by First Lady Edith Roosevelt, and carried out by Charles Follen McKim.[43] The creation of "baronial" hall look included the hanging of tapestries and 11 stuffed animal heads[7] on the wall and cooking racks over the fireplace.[44][43] The Monroe mantels were moved to the Green Room and Red Room to make way for the "Buffalo mantel".[5]

[42] and a new oak floor was installed.[47] ran around the room,marble A baseboard of white [50].New York of Herter Brothers was crafted and installed by [45] with Corinthian pilasters,[44],Renaissance Revival style Dark English oak paneling carved in a [49] was a delicately carved frieze featuring (at Roosevelt's insistence) animal heads.[6][48] painted a delicate gray[47]plaster of white cornice Below a ceiling and a [46][41] and "baronial".[45] late Victorian,[43]

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