With the arrival of the Johnson family, Mrs. Johnson put her own
signature on the
look and use of the second-floor apartments. In her mainly green-and
yellow-bedroom she set up a cozy working space, in which she dictated
letters and speeches, and planned and directed her many activities. Down
the hall--in rooms that had lately known the toys of the Kennedy
children--the Johnson's teenage girls, Luci and Lynda, had their bedrooms
until marriage took them both to homes of their own. And when President
Nixon brought his family to the White House in 1969, his daughter Tricia
moved into the suite that had been Lynda and Luci's. The following year,
Tricia took television viewers on the first public showing of many of the
rooms in the family quarters.
After the Carters moved
in, ten-year-old Amy occupied the bedroom that
had been Caroline Kennedy's, then Luci Johnson's, then Tricia Nixon's.
Her tree house in the gnarled old cedar on the south lawn, her delight in
reading, her violin lessons, pets, and school friends became part of the
continuing White House small-fry chronicles that began with Susanna,
granddaughter of John
and Abigail Adams.
President and Mrs.
Reagan put their stamp on the second-floor family
quarters, as well as on the expanded living space that was added to the
third floor during the Truman
reconstruction of 1948-52. Most of this
floor was then divided into bedroom, bath, and sitting room apartments,
which are available today for family members and personal guests. The
remaining area serves as space for storage and housekeeping, with one
room reserved for recreation. Mrs. Reagan's work on these floors
completed the refurbishing project begun by Mrs. Kennedy in 1961.
The Reagan redecoration focused chiefly on the second and third floors.
But one elegant wanderer purchased by Monroe in 1817-a French
sofa-was returned to the Blue
Room on the state floor. Sold at an
auction just before the Civil War, this gilded sofa, curved to fit the
room, came home in 1978, only to be stored again. Finally reclaimed and
re-covered with blue silk, it joined seven of the original matching chairs.