A Unique Work Place
For more than two centuries, since the time of John Adams, the White House has been the home of American presidents. A powerful symbol of the nation, it is a uniquely private and public place – at once a family residence, a seat of the government, a ceremonial center, and an historic building and museum. It is also a unique work place.
At Work in the White House, issue 26 of White House History, looks at the people who have worked in the President’s House in various capacities. There is no set rule about size of the staff for the needs continue to change. A century ago the White House staff was composed of about 15 domestic workers with additional helpers coming with the presidents from their homes. The first office in Theodore Roosevelt’s time included only about 15 people. When he built the West Wing, and moved business out of the house, the office staff grew and would continue to grow, and today has expanded into many other buildings in the area.
This issue of White House History begins with “Ushers and Stewards Since 1800” by Claire Faulkner, a member of the Usher’s Office in the Executive Residence; in “Under This Roof: The Art of Working on the White House Staff”, Bradley Patterson looks at the presidential staff today; photographer Maggie Knauss talks about “Out Takes: One Photographer’s White House Experience”; and “A Neighbor Returns More Than a Cup of Sugar” describes a painting long missing from the White House that turned up recently in a house across Lafayette Park. Priscilla Roosevelt’s edits and introduction of “Memoirs: The First White House Social Secretary, Isabella Hagner” and excerpts from the unpublished “Memoirs of Isabella Hagner 1901-1905” paints a meaningful and important account of this time.
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 gardens, 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 (plus packing and delivery). 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 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 the public rooms, and further its educational mission.