White House History Journal 27
This issue of White House History, the semi-annual journal of the White House Historical Association, is the first part of two issues on the White House neighborhood featuring articles on several of the buildings on Lafayette Square and those who either built or inhabited them. Some still stand, while others are gone—examples of the first are Saint John’s Church and Blair House, of the second are the original executive offices and W. W. Corcoran’s magnificent house.
“We at the White House Historical Association are relative newcomers to Lafayette Square,” writes editor William Seale in the foreword.
The windows of our townhouse look out on Lafayette Park. A distinction is made between the two ‘Lafayettes,’ the park in the middle, with the square referring to the buildings that face it along the sides. A more harmonious scene of buildings, streets, sidewalks and trees could hardly be imagined. Nor might one imagine a neighborhood more evocative of its history.
This issue of the journal begins with James Goode’s “Four Salutes to the Nation: The Equestrian Statues of General Andrew Jackson.” Patrick Snodon writes about “Making Religion Fashionable: Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Saint John’s Church.” Keith D. Mackay observes “The Corcoran Mansion: House of Feasts,” and photographer Bruce White’s article examines the work of an earlier photographer, Volkmar Kurt Wentzel, who photographed the neighborhood in the 1930s. “The President’s Park (Give or Take a Few Acres)” by Lucinda Prout Janke, “A Communication Between These Offices: Designing the Executive Office Buildings, 1791-1800” by Pamela Scott and “Good Neighbors: FDR, Major Gist and Blair House” by Candace S. Shireman round out the 100-page issue illustrated with newly commissioned photography of the park as well as historic photos and illustrations.
White House History is published twice each year by the White House Historical Association and features articles on White House history, architecture, fine and decorative arts, and garden, as well as stories about the occupants of the White House and their experiences living there.
White House History is available for $6.95 per copy. To order please call toll free 1-800-555-2451 or visit our website www.whitehousehistory.org.
The White House Historical Association, established in 1961, is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to enhance the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the White House. All proceeds from the association’s trusts, publications and other items are used to fund acquisitions of historic furnishings and artwork for the permanent collection, to assist in the preservation of public rooms, and further its educational mission.