President’s Bath

The Living Room bath in 1952, looking northeast (the medicine cabinet door at center is open) (Truman Library)

The Other Master Bathroom

Today's Living Room is a mini-suite, with its own walk-in closet and bathroom. When rebuilt in the Truman reconstruction, the shower stall was even designed with a skylight that gets light from a rooftop skylight funneled down through a little closet. This is the shower that Lyndon Johnson installed such powerful nozzles in that Richard Nixon later claimed nearly flung him out of the stall.

Andrew Tully described the Truman bathroom in the May 1952 issue of The Plumbing News:

If they offered me any room in the house, I'd take Mr. Truman's bathroom. In the first place, it's big—a spacious grotto of cool, gleaming, green and white tile, where a guy could set up housekeeping if things get tough. Then there are the fixtures all white ... and a tribute to 20th century plumbing. Take the bathtub, for instance. None of those squat little bushel-basket-like jobs you see in some modem homes. Our President's tub is a good seven feet long—the kind in which a man can stretch out in when he comes home from the office, all tired out from working over a hot Republican.

A good seven or eight feet away on the opposite wall is the widest wash basin I ever saw. My four kids could all wash their hands there and never rub elbows. In the middle of the two water faucets is a third tap—for ice water. Of course, there's a shower stall with a glass door. This is a couple blocks across the room in another direction. All around the room are little sets of tile shelves.

More Images

The Living Room bath in 1952, looking southwest (Truman Library)

The hall on the north side, looking south into the living room in 1952,
when it was Harry Truman's bedroom (Truman Library - Abbie Rowe)

The Living Room hall in 1952, looking north (Truman Library - Abbie Rowe)