Temporary Executive Office Building

The 1909 structure (in 1922) (Library of Congress)

The original 1902 structure (circa 1908) (Library of Congress)

The original West Wing

In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt began extensive renovations that included demolishing the conservatories and building a one-story office structure, connected to the Residence by a colonnaded gallery. In the original design, the "president's room" (his "office" remained in the Residence) was rectangular.

In 1909, William Howard Taft had the structure enlarged and the interior remodeled, creating the Oval Office for the first time. This was reminiscent of the three oval rooms in the Residence (the Diplomatic Reception Room on the ground floor, the Blue Room on the first floor, and the Yellow Oval Room in the family residence). This design also featured ground floor rooms with open courts on either side of the Oval Office similar to those on the north side of the residence.

Just a few weeks after the stock market crash in 1929, the West Wing was significantly damaged by an electrical fire on Christmas Eve. Herbert Hoover had the building remodeled and the roof replaced but did not make extensive changes.

Throughout this period, the West Wing gallery contained laundry and other facilities that supported the mansion. Clotheslines occupied the location of today's Oval Office.


Reconstruction of the old West Wing, as enlarged by William Howard Taft in 1909
(by Alec Frazier from Architecture of the West Wing of the White House and Library of Congress)


Oval Office

Hand-tinted photo of the William Howard Taft's original Oval Office
in the center of the West Wing, circa 1909 (White House Historical Association)

The original Oval Office, circa 1909

The main corridor, circa 1909, looking west (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)


Cabinet Room

The old Cabinet Room around 1926, looking southeast

The new Taft Cabinet Room, circa 1911 (Library of Congress)


Staff Room

New staff office around 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)


Secretary's Office

President's secretary's office, circa 1922 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

New Secretary's Office (with Fred Carpenter) in 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

New Secretary's Office in 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)


Telegraph Room

Wire Room in 1923 (Library of Congress)

Wire Room around 1920 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)


General Waiting Room

Secretary Tumulty and mess from the press, around 1919 (Library of Congress)


Congressional Waiting Room

Executive clerk WS Crawford in 1925 (Library of Congress)

The Congressional Waiting Room around 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

The Congressional Waiting Room around 1909 (Library of Congress - Barnett McFee Clinedinst)


Flower Shop

The post-1908 Flower Shop, looking west, shown here probably in 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)


Laundry Room

Before a pool was installed for FDR, the Press Briefing Room space was a laundry room,
shown here in 1909 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)



Temporary Executive Office Building floor plan after construction in 1902 (1902 Report of the Architects - hi res version)


President's Room

Hand-tinted photo of Theodore Roosevelt's original West Wing office in 1904 (now the Roosevelt Room),
directly adjoining his Cabinet Room (Library of Congress)


Secretary's Office

Office of the president's secretary (chief of staff) in the old West Wing, circa 1902 (Library of Congress)


Cabinet Room

The old Cabinet Room, circa 1906, looking southwest (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

Theodore Roosevelt's original Cabinet Room from the opposite angle, circa 1903 (Library of Congress)



The lobby doors around 1908 (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

The original Executive Office Building Lobby, looking southeast, circa 1903 (Library of Congress - Waldon Fawcett)


Staff Room

Staff office in 1908 (the calendars say Wednesday, December 23, 1908), looking south (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

Staff office in 1908, looking east; this man appears in the photo above at the back,
silhouetted against the window (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

Staff office in 1906, looking east (Library of Congress - Waldon Fawcett)

Staff office in 1904 (the calendar says Monday, April 4), looking north (Library of Congress - Harris & Ewing)

Courier in 1906 (Library of Congress - Waldon Fawcett)


Telegraph Room

Telegraph office in 1904 (Library of Congress - Clinedinst)

Telegraph office around 1903 (Peter and Cornelia Weil Typewriter Archives)

Telegraph office in 1902


Tennis Court

The original tennis court, in 1909, just south of the West Wing, where the West Wing south terrace is now (Library of Congress)