In December 1916 Country Life magazine was granted extraordinary access to The White House.

With Donald Trump becoming the building’s newest resident, we take a look at what it was like then and how it has changed today.

It’s fascinating to see what has changed. Te cabinet room, for example, was completely rebuilt in 1934, hence the major difference. You’ll also notice that the desk has changed; the current desk – known as ‘The Resolute Desk’ – was first brought into the Oval Office in JFK’s administration.

But it’s even more fascinating to see what has remained the same. The Main Entrance Hall, for example, remains a carbon copy of what existed 100 years ago – right down to the choice of vegetation.

As for what it will look like in another hundred years?

Who can say. Many, however, will breathe a sigh of relief if we even make it through the next four years without the Roosevelt Room being turned into a gift shop and and the Rose Garden paved over to provide a new parking facility…

These pictures are part of the Country Life Picture Library’s incredible collection – the modern day images are all provided by Whitehouse.gov or The Library of Congress.


The White House North Front (aka North Portico)

White House --- North Front


The White House Main Entrance Hall

White House --- Main Entrance Hall


The Cabinet Room

White House --- Cabinet Room


The East Room

White House --- East Room

N.B. The modern East Room photograph originally used to illustrate this article has now been removed from the White House website. Here’s an alternate image by White House photographer Robert Knudsen:


The White House and gardens

White House --- From the roof of the Treasury


The President’s desk

White House --- President's desk


The White House South Front (aka South Portico)

White House --- South Front


The White House State Dining Room

White House --- State Dining Room


General view of The White House

White House --- Through the columns of the treasury building