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The Executive Mansion that could have been...

Around the turn of the 20th century there were plans to redesign, expand, or completely rebuild the Executive mansion of the United States, now known as the White House, so as to better serve the needs of a modern, much more active, and expanded presidential role.

Instead, it was decided just to construct both the East and West wings and keep the current White House as it was.

But this is a rendition, drawn by Architect Paul J. Pelz in 1898, of what could have been. A completely redesigned Executive mansion that would have been located where Meridian Hill Park now is, and so preserving the original White House, most likely to be converted into a museum or backup executive residence. This is one of the most magnificent architectural designs I have seen, and I would love for an architectural firm to create elevations and floor plans for it some day!

We can see the likely inspirations of the Classical and Italian Renaissance styles. The mansion showing obvious parallels to the Breakers, Rosecliff, and Marble House mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as the Vanderbilt's New York mansions at both 5th Avenue and Hyde Park. Inspirations also seem to come from the Crystal palace in London and the Paris Opera house, designed in the Second Empire style, when we look at the glass roofs and ornate glass domes towards the rear of the building.

A truly Imperial construction for an Imperial Presidency! Oh, what could have been!

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