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Echoes From the White House
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THE CHANGING WHITE HOUSE

From 1792 From 1817 From 1902 From 1952 1902-1952:
page 2 of 3


1913
  • President Wilson holds first presidential press conference at the Executive Offices of the White House.

  • The Rose Garden, which adjoins the Oval Office, is first planted by Woodrow Wilson's first wife, Ellen Wilson, who replaces the colonial garden with a formal rose garden designed with George Burnap.

  • Landscape architect Beatrix Farrand designs a new East Garden.

  • Sheep keep the White House lawn trim during World War I when the gardeners are conscripted into service.
 First rose garden

First rose garden
Library of Congress

Sheep on the White House lawn
Sheep on the White House lawn
Library of Congress

1922
  • Electric vacuum cleaners are used in the White House for the first time.

  • President Warren G. Harding has a radio set installed in a bookcase in his study on the second floor of the White House.


1923

  • Calvin Coolidge places the first National Christmas Tree in Lafayette Park.
National Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree
Library of Congress

1926
  • The White House acquires its first electric refrigerator; iceboxes had been in use since the Polk administration.


1927
  • President Coolidge builds a rooftop solarium to create private space, as a new roof is added and the old attic is turned into a full third floor.
Rooftop solarium during the Reagan Administration

Rooftop solarium during the Reagan Administration
The White House Collection
White House Historical Association

View of the executive offices after roof burned Christmas Eve 1929
1929
  • President Herbert Hoover has to vacate the executive office wing for reconstruction as a result of a fire in the attic.

  View of the executive offices after roof burned Christmas Eve 1929
Library of Congress

1902-1952: page 2 of 3

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