At this point in the year, whether your preferred candidate won or not, you’re probably tired of hearing about politics. But today, instead of talking about who will be living in the White House, we thought we’d talk about something else in the White House that we care about—a historic pool. As much as the president’s residence has changed during its 220 years in existence, it can be hard to keep up with every small detail. However, there’s a somewhat secret pool that’s been hiding under our noses the entire time.
Back in 1933 during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a campaign was created by the New York Daily News to raise money for the construction of a pool in the West Wing. The pool, finished later that year, was used often by FDR for exercise therapy to help him cope with polio. Future presidents enjoyed the pool as well, especially John F. Kennedy. In 1961, JFK’s father commissioned a mural of a Caribbean seaside to be painted on three of the walls surrounding the pool. Some say JFK used the pool as often as twice a day in addition to using it as a place to hold races with his cabinet members.
But, not all presidents found a use for the pool. Just a few years later in 1969, President Richard Nixon covered it and transformed the area into a place for the press. After multiple renovations, this space is what we now know as the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room where the White House press secretary (and sometimes the president) gives briefings to the media and the nation. The original pool still sits underneath this room we likely all recognize, now utilized as a server room and an occasional tour stop with hundreds of signatures from White House staff and guests covering the walls.
Check out some photos of the pool throughout the years in the video below:
As many of our previous presidents knew, pools are a wonderfully thing to own. If you or someone you know is interested in building a new pool to enjoy as a family, let us know! You can schedule a free estimate by reaching out to us here.