A staff member prepares wine for a 2007 dinner (White House: Behind Closed Doors)

The Basement

The White House Basement is actually located under the North Portico. There is access to the Basement rooms by way of the north hall on the ground floor and also by doors in the two open courts on either side of the North Portico. Because of these courts, some rooms in the Basement have windows. The basement meets the north hall in the east-west Basement hall, a 9-foot-wide corridor 82 feet long.

The basement contains, among other areas, the Carpenters' Shop, Engineers' Shop, Flower Shop, Chocolate Shop, Cold Storage, Paint Shop, Grounds Office, and Housekeeping Office, and Laundry. It also contains Richard Nixon's Bowling Alley.

In the 1902 renovation, some of the basement space was used to store coal, since the coal bins on either side of the old furnace room that became the Diplomatic Reception Room were eliminated.



Basement Hall

Main doors to the North Hall in 2008 (Daniel)

Looking into the Cold Storage room in 2006, with the old liner removed and with the new liner in place (White House Curator)

Barney visits Chef Rachel Walker in the basement hall in 2004 (White House - Alex Cooney)

The hall under the North Portico, which gives access to the Courts, circa 2002

The hall under the North Portico, circa 1992

A CBS clerk doing last minute work for Jackie Kennedy's television tour in 1962 (Kennedy Library)

Mamie Eisenhower in the hall under the North Portico in 1958 (Life)

Actor/producer Robert Montgomery in 1953, during White House broadcast (Life - George Skadding)


Storage and Other Rooms

Mamie Eisenhower in a storage area, with an usher in 1958 (Life - Ed Clarke)

The White House Dentist's Office in 1948 (Truman Library)