Washington's Hottest Spot--for 100 Years

A West Wing office means power, glory and a chance to boost future earnings

The west wing of the White House may be the most formidable power stage in the world. But when it was built 100 years ago, it was an architectural afterthought, completed under President Theodore Roosevelt for his temporary executive offices. William Taft added the Oval Office in 1909 (wags suggested it was fashioned in the image of the 300-lb. President). Temporary became permanent, and this strange, constantly evolving warren of work spaces became the incubator of our lofty national aspirations. Most of the great presidential ideas were conceived, debated and executed here. During John F. Kennedy's term, journalists and writers caught...

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