5 things you didn’t know about the oval office
The Oval Office has for generations been first in the mind when thinking about the presidency. Not only for its fancy trimming and allure of power, but for all the exciting times in movies and tv. Whether it is president Bartlett in the west wing or fighting off aliens in Independence day, the Oval Office grabs our attention. Here are some fast facts that you might not know about the world’s most famous office.
1.It wasn’t the first oval office
President William Howard Taft had the first Oval Office made. Completed in 1909, the office was centered on the south side of the of the building, in a different location from the present Oval Office. The walls were covered with vibrant green colored burlap. On Christmas Eve, 1929, during President Herbert Hoover’s administration, a fire severely damaged the West Wing, including the Oval Office. It was demolished in 1933.
2.It isn’t even really the 2nd Oval Office!
The Yellow Oval Room is an oval room located on the south side of the second floor in the White House, in the residence section of the White House. It has been used as a library, family parlor, and a reception room before a state dinner. However, Grover Cleveland, FDR, and Truman used it as a private office. John Adams held the first presidential reception ever in the White House in this room in 1801, while still under construction.
3. It all goes back to George Washington
In 1790, Washington built a large, two-story, semicircular addition to his office in President’s house, the forerunner of the White House. This created a half oval in which Washington would stand in the center. James Hoban, the architect of the White House, visited the room a month before winning the contract to design the White House.
4. Not the last!
Between movie sets, presidential libraries, and history enthusiasts the Oval Office is often copied. One of the most used movie sets was built for the 1993 movie DAVE. It was reused in 25 other movies and tv shows. It was so often unavailable that a second set had to be built. Above is the replica at the Bill Clinton Presidential Library.
5.Not the only office the president uses.
Just down a short hall from the Oval Office is the president’s study. While the Oval Office is used for most official business, sometimes a president needs a private purely functional office that doesn’t have to receive visitors or serve a ceremonial function.