Draftsman for the Supervising Architect of the Treasury.
Completed in 1879, it cost more to construct than any other room in the
building at about $33.50 per square foot (total $55,675.00 in 1879 dollars).
The room was used as a library and a reception room.
English Minton tile floor. The room contains the only surviving original
lighting fixtures in the building.
President Eisenhower giving a press conference in the Indian Treaty Room in 1956. Courtesy of Eisenhower Library, 1956/AP.
The reason for the room's name "Indian Treaty Room" is a mystery. It is not clear where it originated, despite extensive research. Some believe it was due to the fact that during the 1930s the War Department stored papers there, including treaties with the American Indian nations. But this is not true, as the State Department used it for storage until the 1940s after the Navy Library moved out.
Although most treaties were signed in the State Department Diplomatic Reception Room (212-214) and the Secretary of State's office (208), a few were signed in the Indian Treaty Room. These include the Bretton Woods Treaty- establishing the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Peace Treaty with Rumania, Italy and Hungary after WWII, and the UN Charter.
Restoration of the main room was done between 1984 and 1985 (the upper north alcove was opened in 1991). The finish to the bronze light fixtures was restored in 2003. Today the room is used for meetings, receptions, and special swearing-in ceremonies.
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