White House; State Dining Room

The State Dining Room owes its existence to the work done by McKim, Meade and White in 1902. Prior to this time, the room was half the size. When the main staircase was moved to its present location, the dining room was able to be doubled in size and now can seat up to a presidential 140 guests.
Oddly enough, this room from the 1902 renovation is the most original to the house since the woodwork survived the 1950 gut remodel mostly intact.However, it did need to be patched and so the woodwork was painted a mint green. Below you can see the room with its original unpainted wood finish from 1904.
As with the East Room, Boudin created a more elegant room by painting the walls in ivory. He also had the original silver plated chandelier and sconces gilded. The sconces were moved from their original location, mounted on the pilasters, to the walls in between; a much more appropriate location (what was McKim thinking?).
The current draperies date from the Clinton administration, as chosen by their designer Kaki Hockersmith. The fabric is colonial revival and the walls were painted a warmer stone color, while the ceiling was painted a complex white to more closely match the McKim unpainted plaster finish.One poor decision I think was that the gilded chandeliers were given a shiny finish, which to me makes them appear like brass. I think I would prefer the original silverplate, don't you?
Here is a detail shot of the fine wood paneling by McKim.
The console tables with eagle bases had been painted and gilded during Boudin's renovation of the room (ivory, to blend in with the walls), but the Clinton's had them returned to their original mahogany finish.
Above the fireplace is the Lincoln portrait by George Healy which Boudin had restored and it has remained since. Join me next week as I continue the tour!

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