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President George W. Bush gives remarks on Hurricane Katrina and the Iraqi constitution from his Crawford, Texas ranch on Sunday August 28, 2005. The logo in the background was created by the Bush Administration in August 2001, and it was displayed at press briefings during Bush's stays at his ranch in Crawford. The sign reads:
THE WESTERN WHITE HOUSE
CRAWFORD, TEXAS

The Western White House is a term applied to additional residencies of the President of the United States. It was used for the Crawford, Texas ranch of George W. Bush, known as Prairie Chapel Ranch, and has also been used by other chief executives for their homes, including Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt briefly resided and administered the duties of his office from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, during World War II. The hotel was called the Western White House during his stay. Roosevelt was also the first President to use the Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland, facility later named Camp David (named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower's grandson). Camp David is sometimes known as the "Weekend White House". The model for Camp David is Herbert Hoover's retreat known as Rapidan Camp (Camp Hoover).

The first governmental spending on property improvements of private presidential residences was at Dwight Eisenhower’s Gettysburg farm, where the Secret Service added three guard posts to a fence.[1] Federal law now allows the president to designate a residence outside of the White House as his temporary offices,[2] so that federal money can be used to provide required facilities.[3]

During the Johnson administration, the LBJ Ranch on the Pedernales River in Texas served as the Western White House.[4] Likewise, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan often retreated to their California homes during their presidencies. Nixon went to La Casa Pacifica in San Clemente, California, while Reagan spent nearly 1/8th of his presidency at his Rancho del Cielo in Santa Barbara County, California. Reagan also spent so much time at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, that the press also dubbed the hotel the Western White House for a time. Their homes were each officially dubbed the Western White House, and substantial Federal funds were used to make security, communications, and real estate improvements.[1] Nixon also had a home in Key Biscayne, Florida, which was known as the "Southern White House" or the Florida White House.[5]

Gerald Ford conducted a considerable amount of the nation’s business from "The Lodge" in Vail, Colorado, which became known as the Western White House during his presidency.[6]

Bill Clinton, in contrast to his successor, did not maintain a "Western White House" during his presidency (neither did he maintain a personal residence as Governor of Arkansas), choosing instead to spend most of his vacations in borrowed homes on Martha's Vineyard. Before leaving office, he and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, purchased a home in New York.

President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. The house was designed by professor David Heymann.

The most recent official Western White House was Prairie Chapel Ranch, the Crawford, Texas, home of George W. Bush. The Bush administration created a logo for the Western White House in August 2001. A sign with the logo had been hung in the press briefing area in Crawford at the start of each of Bush's August vacations; the blue oval sign beared the Seal of the President of the United States and read, "The Western White House / Crawford, Texas".[7][8] The daily press operations in Crawford were set up in the gymnasium of Crawford Middle School, which is several miles from the Bush ranch. The iconic ramshackle barn seen behind correspondents as they did their live reports is actually the school's maintenance shed, and had no connection to the Western White House.

Speculation that the Obama home in the Kenwood neighborhood in Chicago would be used as the Western White House during Barack Obama's presidency [1] proved false, when on August 23, 2009, he arrived in Martha's Vineyard to spend the week near Chapaquiddick.

Additional speculation that a home in the Kailua neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii will become the Western White House has emerged as President Obama vacationed there as President-Elect in 2008 and as President in December 2009. [2] [3]

References

See also

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