of the Cross Halls
large Entrance Hall and Cross Hall formed part
of James Hoban's original plans for the White
House. The basic design has not been altered,
although modifications have been made during various
renovations. During the 19th century two principal
stairways led to the second floor. The broad staircase
at the west end of the Cross Hall was removed
in 1902 to increase the size of the State
Dining Room. At the same time, the remaining
stairway, opening into the Cross Hall, was enlarged.
During the 1948-52 renovation, this stairway was
repositioned to open into the Entrance Hall.
Cross Hall, with marble walls and floors added
during the Truman renovation, is lighted by two
Adam-style cut-glass chandeliers made in London
about 1775. The bronze light standards date from
the Roosevelt renovation of 1902 as does the design
of the decorative plaster ceiling.
Presidential portraits hang at the east end of
the Cross Hall:Lyndon
Johnson by Elizabeth Shoumatoff, Gerald
Ford by Everett Raymond Kinstler, and
Carter by Herbert E. Abrams. A portrait
Franklin D. Roosevelt painted by Frank
O. Salisbury hangs at the west end of the hall.
Entrance Hall is seen by visitors as they leave
the White House. It is set off from the Cross
Hall by a colonnade and is decorated in the same
style. Its furnishings include a French pier table
purchased by Monroe
in 1817 and a pair of French settees with carved
mahogany swans' heads. A suite of early 19th-century
Italian gilded furniture in the Empire style was
placed in the halls in 1973. Herbert E. Abrams'
portrait of George
Bush hangs in the Entrance hall as does
Aaron Shikler's portrait of John
Grand Staircase is often used on ceremonial occasions.
Before state dinners, the President greets his
guests of honor in the Yellow Oval Room; then
they descend the stairs to the East
Room where the other guests are gathered.
Along the stairway hang portraits of 20th century
Presidents, including Harry
S. Truman by Greta Kempton, Dwight
D. Eisenhower by J. Anthony Wills, Richard
Nixon also by J. Anthony Wills, Herbert
Hoover by Elmer W. Greene, and Warren
Harding by F. Luis Mora; a portrait of
William Howard Taft by Bror Kronstrand
is also in the stairway. Above the American pier
table on the landing is F. Graham Cootes' painting
Wilson. An English cut-glass chandelier
from about 1810 to 1815 lights the stairway at
the first landing.
Center and Cross Halls also serve as the visitors'
exit for the White House Tour. Here visitors exit
the main doors of the North Entrance to the White