Friday, December 29, 2017


       President and Mrs. John Quincy Adams began the tradition of eating in this dining room in 1825. This room has been the source of many family meals, and possibly food fights from the presidential families. (I’m thinking the TR family since he was so boisterous). President and Mrs. Herbert Hoover called it the ‘Breakfast room’ because they ate dinners in the State Dining Room.

White House families took their private meals in the Family Dining Room adjacent to the State Dining Room. Photographed for the first time in 1889.In 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy created a new family dining room on the second floor in the private quarters. The present design of it was reconstructed during the Truman’s administration.

The Family Dining Room with the Colonial Revival furnishings made for the room in 1902.
 The first photograph was taken in 1889, and now you can see the changes in the Family Dining Room. The walls, fixtures, etc. are different.
The Family Dining Room after the Truman Renovation, 1952.

Some highlights of the room’s history:
The Grants hosted “family dinners” in this room usually with a dozen or so guests personally known by the president and first lady. The walls of the room at that time were finished with wallpaper that resembled oak paneling that matched the oak furniture in the State Dining Room. It was the room that the Grant family dined in every day.
Family Dining Room after the Kennedy restoration, ca. 1963. 

Different administrations brought renovations and furnishings to the Family Dining Room.  In 2015, the White House Historical Association refurbished the room to showcase modern art and design.  I believe that it’s now open to public tours.

Federal period furnishings in the Family Dining Room as it appeared in 2010.The Family Dining Room after the 2015 refurbishment.

Many thanks to the White House Historical Society.

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