With Donald Trump soon to be setting up a sweet workplace in the Oval Office, we got to wondering: Which official commander-in-chief desk will he choose to sit behind to run the country? Because it turns out that there isn’t just one presidential desk; there’s actually six, each of them used by previous residents of the top office in the land. Each prez gets to pick, while the rejects remain in a secret storage facility in Riverdale, MD.
So which desk best suits The Donald? Since we here at realtor.com® never shy away from placing a bet, here are our predictions, which we came to with the help of interior design duo Crissi Courtney Boland and Margarita Courtney of Palm Beach, FL (which just happens to be the location of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, so they know Trump style pretty well).
The Roosevelt desk
The modest Colonial Revival–style pedestal desk was given to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. He used it, followed by seven presidents after him, including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and William Howard Taft.
Will Trump choose it? “It’s elegant, masculine, and not too showy,” says Boland. Well, we all know Trump is a showman, so this desk probably won’t do.
The Hoover desk
The darkly stained, two-pillar desk originally used by Herbert Hoover also made its way into the Oval Office of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The most prominent details on this desk are the subtle angles, a nod to the Art Deco aesthetic that was in vogue during their presidencies.
Will Trump choose it? “It looks more like a sturdy, utilitarian desk than an object of beauty,” Courtney says. “Utilitarian” isn’t a word we’d use to describe Trump’s tastes, so he will probably pass on the Hoover desk. Also, if Trump plans on keeping a lot of papers in his desk, this won’t be the one for him, due to its limited drawer space. The Donald needs big drawers!
The Johnson desk
Lyndon B. Johnson was the only president to use the Johnson desk (hence its name), and the only modern president to bring his personal desk to the Oval Office. Upon taking office after the assassination of JFK, perhaps he felt it was disrespectful to use that one, or maybe he was just more comfortable with his own desk, which happens to follow a design similar to traditional Senate furniture.
Will Trump choose it? The design of the Johnson desk is probably too restrained for Trump. As Boland puts it, “Simplicity is not his style.”
The Wilson desk
The name “Wilson” is kind of a misnomer as Woodrow Wilson never used it; the exact origins of the name are unknown. Although it’s been used by only two presidents in the Oval Office-Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford-it’s one of the most infamous desks in American history. In 1971, the U.S. Secret Service secretly installed five recording devices in this desk that proved Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal.
Will Trump choose it? As a man whose campaign was marked by scandals, Trump probably should steer clear of anything else that’s been touched by controversy. But he is, of course, a man who does what he wants, and if he wants Nixon’s desk he’ll get Nixon’s desk.
The C&O desk
“C&O” stands for Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the company that built it. George H.W. Bush fell in love with this Georgian-style desk when he used it while serving as vice president under Ronald Reagan. When he moved to the Oval Office in 1989, he brought it with him. “This desk is relatively simple, yet still classy, made of walnut with clean lines and gold hardware,” Boland points out.
Will Trump choose it? Two words: “gold hardware.” In fact, it’s the only Oval Office desk with any gold on it at all. A desk with a significant amount of gold accents is an obvious contender.
The Resolute desk
The most ornate of the Oval Office desks has an equally rich history. The desk was made from wood salvaged from the HMS Resolute, a British ship used primarily for exploration of the Arctic. It’s the desk most used by presidents, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and John F. Kennedy (whose children were known to hide behind the desk’s front panel).
Will Trump choose it? Out of all of the desks, this style screams Trump. “It’s extremely grand, opulent, and imposing,” says Courtney. “He’s definitely most likely to select the Resolute. It has been used by the most presidents; he would like to be in that company.” Plus, this would give his son Barron a primo hiding spot for West Wing hide-and-seek.
For now, we’ll have to sit tight and see which desk Trump selects. In all honesty, Boland and Courtney say they can see Trump commissioning his own custom model.
“It will be probably be very elaborate and have gold carvings more appropriate for royalty,” says Boland. If so, all bets are off!
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