FLAME Blog

How did Presidents Stay Cool in the White House?

One of the most famous homes in the United States is The White House.  Like all of us, its various inhabitants throughout the years  have wanted to stay cool in the warm months.  In honor of Presidents’ Day today, here are few ways that former presidents stayed cool on Pennsylvania Avenue before air conditioning was officially installed:

  • President William Howard Taft had a screened in sleeping porch on the roof of The White House.
  • President Woodrow Wilson moved his office outside, under a tent, in the Rose Garden during the summer of 1914.  He met with many congressmen and other officials in it.
  • On President Calvin Coolidge’s desk one could find,“a gadget filled with chemicals supposed to purify, or at least deodorize, the air” (Keeping Cool in the White House).
  • Many early first families would leave the city in the summer months for cooler places such as Virginia and New England.

The West Wing gained air conditioning in 1929, and air conditioning was installed in the private rooms of The White House in 1933.  If you would like to learn more about how presidents kept cool throughout history check out this article where all of this information is from:  Keeping Cool in the White House.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

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