White House Secrets
All right, I’ll confess that this title is somewhat misleading. Everything I will discuss is publicly available information. But it is information that I personally didn’t know before I started doing research for my new modern Pride and Prejudice variation, President Darcy. I live near Washington D.C. and I knew a fair amount about the presidency and the White House in general, but in order to write a book with several scenes set in the White House, I needed to do a lot of in depth research. In the process I learned some interesting and new facts about the president’s home.
The White House is divided into three parts. The West Wing is the most famous part of the White House. This is where the president and his staff conduct the business of government—and is home to the Oval Office, the press room, and the cabinet room. The East Wing houses the first lady’s offices. The center part of the White House has multiple floors. The bottom two floors have public rooms like the State Dining Room and the East Room as well as functional rooms for the staff like the kitchen. There’s also a chocolate shop, bowling alley, and a very large flower shop. Who knew?
The top two floors of the main building are called the Residence and comprises the top two floors of the main part of the White House. This is where the president and his family live. The most famous part of the residence is the Lincoln Bedroom, which has hosted some of the White House’s most prestigious guests. As you can see from the floor plan, the Lincoln Bedroom is adjacent the Treaty Room, so called because in 1898 William McKinley presided over the signing of a peace treaty in this room which ended the Spanish-American War. Today it’s used as the president’s personal study.