Central Hall

Bo in 2009, looking east (White House - Pete Souza)

Central Hall

 

President Wilson's "graphoscope" film projector (Wilson House)

The main corridor on the second floor is a 17-foot wide hall furnished with sitting areas and display areas for the first family's enjoyment and entertaining.

In the early 20th century, the Tafts decorated this hall with exotic plants and art they had brought with them from William Howard Taft's stint as governor of the Phillipines. Later, Woodrow Wilson watched motion pictures here (today's Family Theater was still a cloakroom), the first being the notorious The Birth of a Nation. In the Franklin Roosevelt era, the hall bustled with the many family, friends, and guests of the Roosevelts.

More Images

GW Bush with British PM Tony Blair in 2007 (Guardian Unlimited - Dan Chung)

The Central Hall in 2001; note that the shells over the doors have been restored (White House Historical Association)

The Central Hall around 1997, looking east

The Central Hall around 2000, looking east

The Central Hall in 1992, looking west (HABS)

The Central Hall in 1992, looking east (HABS black and white)

The Central Hall around 1991, looking west (White House Historical Association)

The Reagans in front of the Chinese screen in 1988 (Reagan Library)

The Central Hall in 1981 (Architectural Digest)

Deng Xiaoping visiting in 1977, looking west (NARA - Carter Library)

The Central Hall in 1975, looking east (White House Historical Association)

The Rockefellers exit the Elevator Hall in 1975 (NARA)

Tricia Nixon conducts her television tour in 1970 (White House Historical Association)

Ladybird Johnson in the Central Hall in 1968, looking east (Johnson Library)

The Central Hall in 1963, looking east (Kennedy Library)

The Central Hall in 1962, looking south, into the Yellow Oval Room (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The Central Hall in 1962, looking north (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The Central Hall in 1962, looking west (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The Central Hall in 1962, looking east; notice that the shells over the doors have been removed (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The Central Hall in 1960, looking east (Kennedy Library - Robert Knudsen)

The Central Hall in 1952, looking east (Truman Library)

The Central Hall in 1952, looking northeast (Truman Library)

The Central Hall in 1948, looking northeast (Truman Library - Abbie Rowe)

The Central Hall before the Truman reconstruction, circa 1948, looking east

Recreation of the hall in the Roosevelt era, circa 1942 (Backstairs at the White House)

The Central Hall around 1930; the "skylight" actually opens to the third floor Central Hall,
where it's surrounded by a railing under a genuine skylight (NARA)

Recreation of the hall in the Wilson era, circa 1917 (Backstairs at the White House)

Recreation of the hall in the Taft era, circa 1910 (Backstairs at the White House)

The Central Hall around 1904, looking northeast (Sagamore Hill National Historic Site)