The New-York Historical Society just opened a new permanent gallery called “Meet the Presidents,” and you can pretend to be one in their exact replica of the Oval Office!
The exhibit opened today, February 14 and traces “the evolution of the presidency and executive branch and how presidents have interpreted and fulfilled their leadership role,” according to their website.
This is portrayed through artwork and memorabilia, including the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, as well as a student scrapbook about JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis made in 1962.
The main feature of course in the replica of the Oval Office, which is outfitted with audio recordings of U.S. presidents throughout history speaking. And of course, you can have a seat right behind the famous Resolute Desk for a photo (or to imagine you are in office)!
Since presidents can decorate and furnish the Oval Office to their own preferences, this specific recreation is based on the room during President Ronald Reagan’s second term, which is also known as a “classic interpretation of Oval Office design.”
The room took 4.5 months to build, and the architecture teams very carefully picked out the right flooring, chair fabric and more to be right on par with the era. According to their Instagram account, “the curtain fabric was custom milled to the exact specifications of the original fabric, the sofa and chair fabric came from one of two remaining bolts of the original fabric, the rug is from the same manufacturer as the Reagan rug, key furniture pieces came from the same furniture manufacturer and built to the same specifications as the original pieces.”
They made all of the molding, crowns, and other architectural features (including the famous seal on the ceiling) from custom plaster work, copying off photographs.
Check out this amazing exhibit asap!
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
New York, NY 10024
featured image source: Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society