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U.S. President Obama to address the Nation from Oval Office on Iraq War
The desk of U.S. President Barack Obama sits on top of a new rug in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on August 31, 2010. President Obama tonight will give the second Oval Office address of his presidency, speaking on the transition of the U.S. role in Iraq after the last combat troops left the country, leaving 50,000 "advise and assist" troops. UPI/Brendan Smialowski/Pool
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Oval Office News
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The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. Created in 1909 as part of an overall expansion of the West Wing of the White House during the administration of William Howard Taft, the office was inspired by the elliptical Blue Room. The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk and a fireplace at the north end of the room.

The Oval Office has four doors: the east door opens to the Rose Garden; the west door leads to a private smaller study and dining room; the northwest door opens onto the main corridor of the West Wing; and the northeast door opens to the office of the president's secretary.

Though architect James Hoban's original design for the White House included two oval rooms, the idea of an oval office did not come about until 1909. A conception of Theodore Roosevelt, brought out by his wife's idea that the shared space between bedrooms and offices of the White House should be separate. Further, Roosevelt chose the site at least for reasons to demolish a set of greenhouses that were constructed by President Buchanan. . An oval interior space is a Baroque concept that was adapted by Neoclassicism. Oval rooms became popular in eighteenth century neoclassical architecture, and it is considered likely that Hoban was influenced by the elliptical chamber at Castle Coole in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. That room has identical dimensions, and includes the two recessed niches found in Hoban's original design for the Blue Room. The "elliptic salon"—in the form of the Blue Room and Yellow Oval Room—was the outstanding feature of James Hoban's original plan of the White House. At the temporary "President's House" in Philadelphia, George Washington had two rooms each modified with an apsidal bowed end, which were used for hosting the formal receptions called levees. As his guests formed a circle around him, Washington could stand in the center with everyone an equal distance from the president. The apsidal end of a room was a traditional site of honor, for a host, a potentate, or the magistrate in a basilica.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oval Office."