West Wing Colonnade

Barack Obama with Reggie Love in 2009, looking west (White House - Pete Souza)

The Covered Pavilion

The open columned walkway along the West Wing gallery and across the east side of the body of the West Wing provides a picturesque backdrop for events held in the Rose Garden, but it also requires the president and his staff to walk out in the weather to get back and forth between the West Wing and the Residence. Jackie Kennedy inquired about enclosing it as the East Wing colonnade is so that John Kennedy wouldn't have to walk outside in his robe after a swim in the White House pool (now the Press Briefing Room). But doors were cut through the gymnasium and flower shop (now the Press Corps Offices) instead.

In the early years of the White House, around the time of President Thomas Jefferson, a covered pavilion stretched west (and east) from the Residence, providing a colonnade walk between the mansion and the stables on the west side. Later, extensive conservatories were built here instead. These were removed in 1902 to make way for the temporary Executive Office Building that became the West Wing.

More Images

Barack Obama with British PM Gordon Brown in 2009, on the north side (Reuters)

George W Bush with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in 2006 on the north side (White House)

A White House courier walks from the residence towards the West Wing to deliver mail. (Time Magazine - Brooks Kraft)

George W Bush walks along the north side side at Christmastime, 2005 (White House)

George W Bush with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in 2004 on the west side (White House)

The Bushes with spelling bee champ Kerry Close in 2006 outside the Oval Office (White House)

The colonnade walk to the West Wing in 1992 (HABS)

President Bush and Vice-President Quayle walk to the West Wing in 1992 (NARA)

Ronald Reagan walking to work from the Residence, circa 1986

Ronald Reagan posing for a portrait outside the Oval Office in 1984 (NARA)

President Ford and staff walk past the Cabinet Room toward the Oval Office, circa 1975 (Ford Library)

President Ford and wife Betty walk to the Oval Office immediately after Richard Nixon's departure (Nixon Library)

President Johnson walks with Dean Acheson walking from the Oval Office in 1968 (NARA - Johnson Library)

President Kennedy walks with his son John, Jr. back from the Oval Office, circa 1963 (Kennedy Library)

President Kennedy with staff and, at right, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, 1961 (Kennedy Library - Cecil Staughton)

Ike stands outside the Oval Office in 1957 (US News & World Report)

FDR sits outside the Oval Office in 1942 (NARA)

Calvin Coolidge passing by the laundry facilities from the executive offices, circa 1927 (Library of Congress)

The colonnade, looking west, toward the executive offices in 1921 (Library of Congress)