JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1786BEFORE THE OVAL OFFICE: JFK'S SENATE OFFICE BUILDING SUITE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Most Baby Boomers can recall the Oval Office of President John F. Kennedy in the West Wing of the White House from 1961 to 1963. Many, however, are most likely unfamiliar with the suite of offices that JFK occupied during his tenure in the United States Senate.
Our daughter, Jennifer, has recently taken a position with a company based in Alexandria, Virginia and yesterday on her first assignment on Capitol Hill visited the office of Senator Robert Casey (D) Pennsylvania. These offices, as it would turn out, were once those of Senator John F. Kennedy (D) Massachusetts.
Jennifer made a few photographs during her visit and sent them along to us. They are posted below.
Senator Casey's office is located in the Russell Senate Building named after Senator Richard Russell in 1972. The suite of offices was designated Room 394 in 1983. When JFK became a senator in 1953, the offices were in the Senate Office Building, but that became the Old Senate Office Building by the time he left for the White House. The offices were designated as Room 362 during JFK's Senate years.
When the offices became available in 2009, Senator Casey, an admirer of the 35th President of the United States, moved in. The offices are just down the hall from the Senate Caucus Room where Senator John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the presidency in January 1960.
Other occupants of the offices since JFK include...
Senator Philip Hart (D) Michigan 1961-1966
Senator George McGovern (D) South Dakota 1967-1973
Senator Albert Gore, Jr. (D) Tennessee 1985-1992
Senator Judd Gregg (R) New Hampshire 1993-2009
Outside in the hall is a plaque which commemorates the occupancy of Senator John F. Kennedy in these offices during the 1950s. Any JFK fan would immediately recognize the elaborate fireplace mantel inside the office in front of which once sat Senator Kennedy's desk.
The office is also where Senator Kennedy was photographed sitting in his famous rocking chair which would later go along with him to the Oval Office.
"JFK's Echoes Still Heard in US Senate" by John T. Shaw, Huff Post, Politics, www.huffingtonpost.com/
"JFK's Senate office is now Casey's," by Jonathan Tamari, November 22, 2013, www.philly.com