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Painting of Lafayette Square

Painting of Lafayette Square

Artist
Peter Waddell
Date of Work
2010
Medium
Painting
Credit
White House Historical Association

Painting of Lafayette Square

This painting of the White House and Lafayette Square was completed in 2010 by artist Peter Waddell. Waddell depicts the area as it would have appeared in 1902 during President Theodore Roosevelt's administration. At that time, the area around Lafayette Square was still residential, highlighting the relatively large scale of the White House that began to disappear as modern office buildings encroached on the area. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy spearheaded the effort to restore the White House’s historic neighborhood, preventing the destruction of the row houses that line the square.

"Lafayette Square. Once the White House Overlooked a Residential Neighborhood, 1902." Lafayette Square, once surrounded by residential houses and mansions was a grand neighborhood that included the White House. Benjamin H. Latrobe's Saint John's Church, built in 1816, was soon followed by his design for Stephen Decatur's house, erected 1818–19, on the northwest corner of the square. Dolley Madison spent her last years in a residence directly across the park on the northeast side of the square. In 1902 during the renovation of the White House, Theodore Roosevelt became a temporary square resident, living near Decatur House at 22 Jackson Place.

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