A TOUR OF THE ENTRANCE AND CROSS HALLS
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 ENTRANCE HALL* and the CROSS HALL.
As distinguished visitors enter the White House from the North Portico, they step onto the marble floors of the Entrance Hall which were installed in the 1948-1952 restoration.
They look directly into the Blue Room and above the doorway gaze upon the great presidential seal embedded into the wall. The American and Presidential flags stand on either side of the doorway.
The Entrance Hall floor bears a plaque commemorating the major reconstruction projects of 1817, 1792-1902, and 1952. The United States Marine Corps Band often plays in the Entrance Hall. A Grand Staircase leads to the Second Floor but is used mainly for ceremonial purposes.
Two notable presidential portraits hanging in the Entrance Hall are George H.W. Bush by Herbert E. Abrams and John Kennedy by Aaron Shikler.
Visitors then enter the Cross Hall which is covered by a bright red carpet and leads to the State Dining Room on the right and the East Room on the left. When President John F. Kennedy's body was brought back from Dallas, it was carried by an honor guard down the hall to the East Room to lie in repose.
The Cross Hall is lit by two cut-glass chandeliers and is simply furnished with two benches, two settees, busts and portraits. There are also two great French Empire tables which once belonged to Joseph Bonaparte.
*The Entrance Hall is a large, square formal foyer space 31 by 44 feet.
"A Guide to the Public Rooms of the White House," January 2009, Office of the Curator, The White House^
^JFK+50 offers a note of appreciation to Mr. David Bland for making available to us the copy of this booklet.
"The President's Front Door," The White House Museum, www.whitehousemuseum.org/
"The White House: An Historic Guide," White House Historical Association, Washington, D.C., 1962.