White House basement

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An autumn view of the North Portico and North Lawn of the White House. The basement is under the North Portico.

The basement of the White House, the Washington, D.C. residence and workplace of the President of the United States, is located under the North Portico and includes the White House carpenters' shop, engineers' shop, flower shop,[1] and dentist office,[2] among other areas.

The White House Situation Room is located in the basement beneath the West Wing.[3]


During World War II, a bomb shelter was constructed under the East Wing,[4] later converted into the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.

The sub-basement was added during the reconstruction of the White House under Harry S. Truman. It contains storage space, the laundry, elevator control machinery, the water softener, and incinerator, as well as dressing rooms for White House performers.[5]

Dwight Eisenhower made the first White House television broadcast from a special room in the basement in 1953,[1] though the "broadcast room" was soon divided for other purposes.

A bowling alley was added by Richard Nixon in 1969.[6]

After the Recording Industry Association of America suggested that the White House Library should be expanded to include sound recordings, that trade group donated over 2200 LPs during the Nixon and Carter administrations; when Ronald Reagan took office, the collection was moved to the White House basement, where it is still located.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "White House basement". Whitehousemuseum.org. Retrieved 2009-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Presidential Dentist Visits U-M" (PDF). University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Spring–Summer 2006. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2009-01-28. Worm told the dental students that in addition to an operatory in the basement of the White House, there is a dental clinic at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "White House basement nerve center gets makeover". Alertnet.org. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2009-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Eyeballing Presidential Protection". Eyeball-series.org. Retrieved 2009-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "White House Plumbing". Theplumber.com. 1917-12-28. Retrieved 2009-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "White House Bowling Alley". Whitehousemuseum.org. Retrieved 2009-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. David Browne (2009-02-05). "Obama's Secret Record Collection". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-08-08. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Seale, William. The President's House. Washington, D.C.: White House Historical Association, 1987.

External links

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