What the Oval Office Looks Like Empty

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The Oval Office has a very pretty floor! You’d never know it based on most photos of the White House’s most famous non-square-shaped room, but the president spends his days walking on a Reagan-era design. It’s a heck of an improvement over the wood-grain linoleum of the Johnson years.

The rare photo above was taken exactly 14 years ago, during a White House renovation. The quartered walnut and oak flooring pictured was installed by Ronald Reagan and then replaced in 2005 by President George W. Bush, who kept he eye-striking design. It’s a shame that few people go to see it underneath that massive rug with the Great Seal.

Barack Obama’s given the Oval Office a golden hue during his years in office. The historical room is now lined with a golden striped wallpaper and inoffensive tan rug. But does anybody else wonder where those holes in the floor go?


[National Archives]

Image via National Archives

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