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Dec 13, 2023 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association released a new episode of The White House 1600 Sessions podcast today featuring a conversation with John F. W. Rogers, former assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the Association’s current chairman of the board, about the rich architecture and legacy of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). Stewart McLaurin, president of the Association, and Rogers had the unique opportunity to tour the EEOB and give viewers a behind the scenes look at its incredible spaces and hallowed halls which have borne witness to history. In the episode, McLaurin talks with Rogers about how he spearheaded efforts to renovate the EEOB and his dedication to historic preservation.
“It's so rare when you work for the government that 40 years later you can re-enter that space and see that it's still benefiting from the investment that you made,” said McLaurin. “What John has done to restore this magnificent building to what it is today is an extraordinary legacy and a great contribution to not only the people who have now worked there over these years, but to the country as a whole.”
The EEOB has been called a masterpiece of French Second Empire style but its granite, slate and cast-iron exterior distinguishes it from most government buildings in the nation’s capital. The structure has stood the test of time for more than 150 years, surviving threats of demolition and even a couple of fires. The building originally housed the departments of State, War, and the Navy. Today the building contains the office of the vice president, most senior presidential staff members, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Security Council staff, among others. Through the preservation efforts of Rogers, who started the renovation process while serving as an assistant to President Ronald Reagan, this National Historic Landmark remains in working condition.
“Something I realized during my time with the Reagan Administration is that the ability to be in rooms that had housed such great Americans who had served this country reminds you consistently of the public responsibility that anyone has for working here,” said Rogers. “It's very important in historic preservation that we remember where we've come from, and we remember that through the structures that we've built and what they represent. The White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building are about the enduring presidency.”
The White House 1600 Sessions podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
The full video of the podcast episode is also on the White House Historical Association’s YouTube channel here.
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The White House 1600 Sessions
White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin is the host of The White House 1600 Sessions, the Association’s official audio and video podcast devoted to exploring the history, cultural impact, untold stories, and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and highest office.
About the White House Historical Association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $115 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.