Maison du Commodore Stephen Decatur, Washington, June 1822
This painting of Decaur House was created by E. Vaile in June 1822. A man stands at the door, as a carriage approaches. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. Decatur House was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur and his wife, Susan. Tragically, in 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel and his widow Susan subsequently rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and the house now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
This wall clock was custom made by the Chelsea Clock Company of Chelsea, Massachusetts in 2020 and was a gift of the White House Historical Association to the White House Collection. The clock hangs in the Ground Floor Corridor of the White House above the doorway leading to the president’s elevator. The face of the clock features an eagle on the upper half that was inspired by the James Monroe state service. White House calligraphers did the hand-lettering and numbering on the dial including the inscription “The President’s House” on the lower half of the clock’s face.