A truly presidential staircase

March 15, 2013 2 min read

There are many staircases that are famous the world over for their unique structures and adventurous designs. While many of these flights are extremely eye-catching - with some becoming more notable than the buildings that house them - one of the most famous staircases in the world is more renowned for the individuals who are important enough to actually get a chance to use it than for its mechanics. 

The Grand Staircase of the White House has been the scene of many of the most significant photo-ops of the past two centuries, as this is the flight that the President of the United States walks down before entering the Grand Hall for state functions, and often before addressing the nation - and the world - on national television from the starting step.

This flight originally connected the second floor of the White House to the Cross Hall. However during the Truman administration, between 1948-1952, the staircase was repositioned so that it would open up into the Grand Entrance Hall.

The landing of the staircase often functions as the site of a podium from which the president speaks during particularly serious national addresses. And since the Grand Entrance Hall doubles as a ballroom, the president and guests of honor for such events will often pose for photographers at the base of this staircase after walking down its steps.

The structure is a wide return staircase that weaves down from the Yellow Room before stopping at two landings and ultimately descending into the Grand Entrance Hall. It features white and grey marble from Vermont with intricately designed wrought iron balusters and stair rails. As well, the steps have been carpeted in rich red since the Roosevelt administration.

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