A TOUR OF THE GREEN ROOM
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) JFK+50 will be taking the next few blog posts to discuss the rooms we will be touring in our self-guided tour of the White House next week.
Today we will take a look at the GREEN ROOM*. This was originally envisioned to be the "Common Dining Room" of the mansion by James Hoban.
The Green Room was first used as a lodging room in the Jefferson years, but for the Madisons it was a sitting room and for the Monroes a card room. It was actually President John Quincy Adams who named it the Green Room.
A renovation in 1902 turned it to "a simple classic pattern." The room became Helen Taft's favorite and the Federal furniture was brought in by the Coolidges.
Another renovation in the Truman years saw the hanging of a green silk damask. A classic chandelier lights the Green Room and the mantlepiece was one of two removed from the Old State Dining Room in 1902.
It is not a president whose portrait hangs over the room's fireplace mantel, but a most influential American, Benjamin Franklin. When Aaron Shikler completed President Kennedy's official portrait in 1970, it was hung in the Green Room.
According to the 1962 White House tour guide, "The Green Room represents the graceful and delicate American Federal style." Mrs. Kennedy's emerald and gold wallpaper was reinstalled with the renovation of 1971.
The Green Room, like most rooms in the mansion, has a history. It was here that President James Monroe signed a declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812. Willie Lincoln's body was viewed here and Eleanor Roosevelt entertained Amelia Earhart in the room.
*The Green Room is 28 by 22.5 feet. It has 6 doors which open to the Cross Hall, East Room, South Portico & Blue Room.
"The Lodging Room," The White House Museum, www.whitehousemuseum.org/
"The White House, An Historic Guide," White House Historical Association, Washington, D.C., 1962.