"Suggested Study of the White House Office Grounds"
"Suggested Study of the White House Office Grounds"
By Faith J. Bloch,1957
Ink over pencil on tracing paper
8 1/2" x 11"
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the National Capital Planning Commission

The White House Grounds
In 1957 crowded conditions in the West Wing of the White House led to suggestions for remodeling that part of the Executive Mansion. President Dwight D.Eisenhower appointed an Advisory Commission on Presidential Office Space. It recommended that the West Wing become guest quarters and that the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) next door be demolished to make way for a modern seven-story office building, which would house the Executive Offices of the President. As part of the planning process, the National Capital Planning Commission commissioned landscape architect Faith J. Bloch to outline her ideas for the White House grounds. It shows the site for the new office building as well as tennis courts and an expanded Presidential putting green. The plan met with great controversy. Defenders of the OEOB decried the idea of destroying the huge and ornate French Second Empire-style building designed by Alfred B. Mullett in the 1880s, while supporters of the plan argued that the structure was an outdated eyesore deserving demolition. The controversy continued for years. In 1960 President Eisenhower attempted to revive the plan but no consensus could be reached. In 1961 the General Services Administration announced that, since it had not received a clear mandate for demolition, the OEOB would "stand indefinitely."

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