The Office

Office Map

Detailed information on individual items is available through Hyperlinks

We'll start at the North Wall (top of the diagram above) and work around the room counterclockwise (West, South, East...)

The North Wall

Office North Wall

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The North Wall of the Office is largely a doorway to the Library. The presence of the windows is a result of the choice of the owners to "accessorize" the house by adding two "Sleeping Porches" (#102 in the Catalogue): the East version had a three window room on the second story with a pantry/porch on the first; the West version had two three window basy on the first and second floors. Thus, the interior windows of the Office are to provide light and ventillation into the Library.

Lewis Catalogue Add-on options    Catalogue extras applied to the South wall

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Due to the configuration of the Office, there is more wallspace for hanging things than in the Library. Moving from left to right, we have a set of Globe-Wernecke glass-front bookcases that hold my rarest New Deal materials. Atop them is a display of racquets. (squash and tennis), a "Big Bang" Carbide Cannon, and a complete set of the California Raisins (toys). Mr. Grinnell's salt water fishing rod is mounted in the space above the door. Moving to the right, we have: a Cricket Bat, a restored Rocket Plane Sled, a LIFE magazine featuring John Cobb and his streamlined Railton Car, my Lionel trains from 1948, materials autographed by Ralph Kiner, and polo gear. (Polo the sport, not the Brand.)

Model of the 20th Century Limited in the Office

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A model of the famous New York Central 20th Century Limited train (with shrouded Hudson Locomotive designed by Henry Dreyfuss) is displayed above the door on the North wall.

The West Wall

Office West Wall

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The West wall is devoted to my high school sports paraphernalia, including a Harry Gill Discus and Javelin, autographed Hockey Sticks, Skates, a Catcher's Mask, an Indian Club, and a Shakespeare split bamboo fishing rod.

Several newspaper articles on Swing Dancing that I have written are also framed.

  1. The District Turns Into a Capital for Jitterbug Lovers., a full page in the Washington Times, August 23, 1998. I never cashed the check that I got for writing the article.
  2. 10 Places to Jump Jive and Wail, a half page in USA Today, March 5, 1999.

The Singer Sewing Machine in the Art Deco Cabinet and the EMECO secrtarial chair are in the middle of the photo. To the right is the Lawyer's Rotating Bookcase which is also the platform for the model of a Navion Airplane built from a 1948 Cleveland Kit.

Model of the Commodore Vanderbilt Locomotive in the Office

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A model of the famous New York Central Commodore Vanderbilt locomotive is now displayed above the window on the West wall. (added after the photo was taken)

The South Wall

Office South Wall

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The South Wall has six large windows, which are a bonus in wintertime and (alas) a nightmare in the summer. I have been forced to install a 10,000 BTU air conditioner. I suspect that constructing a south-facing sleeping porch was not the best idea, even though it had a total of seven windows for ventilation. With all due respect for environmentalists, I simply cannot imagine what Washington DC must have been like without air conditioning!

The bulk of the South Wall is taken up by my desk which used to belong to the President of the Isbrantsen Shipping Company and came to me through the very colorful Fred Litwin, DC's most approachable and knowledgeable used furniture (note, not "antique") dealer. I miss Fred greatly.

The desk contains most of the objects that an executive in the 1940s might have (the three computers excepted...), such as: a Knights of Columbus Perpetual Calendar, Thermos Desk Carafe, a model of the Lockheed Constellation, and a Mont Blanc #149 "Diplomat" pen. About the pen -- it was given to me by my Aunt helen for my high school graduation. I think that they cost about $25 then. It is a nice pen, but it is huge and it feels like you are writing with a cucumber when you use it. in the 1990s, these things became status symbols among folks newly promoted to Junior Partner (i.e. they didn't have to write a lot...) The price went into the stratosphere and now pens of this vintage sell for thousands.

There is also a hard-to-find WE302 two-line phone to serve my office needs. When the three computers are down, I use the 1908 Burroughs Adding machine for quick calculations.

Above the desk is a small McCoy Planter decorated with the image of five Scotty Pups.

Some sports memorabilia decorate the corners. A Caman, or Hurling Stick is mounted on the southwest corner, while the southeast corner holds an antique Crosse, or Lacrosse stick.

Model of the Union Pacific Daylight Train in the Office

Model of the ATSF Super Chief in the Office

(top) Union Pacific Daylight (bottom) ATSF Super Chief
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Models of the famous Union Pacific Daylight and the Acheson, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) Super Chief are displayed above the windows on the South wall.

The East Wall

Office East Wall

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The East Wall has a propellor (ostensibly like that used on the WWI "Spad" Airplane) that was given to me by fellow dance entrepreneur Marc Shepanek on the occasion of my 60th birthday. We had a big party and all the guests signed the propellor.

There are autographed photos of (1) Eleanor Schano, Pittsburgh's original (and hottest) weather lady. I have been entranced with Eleanor since I first saw her in the 1950s, and she has lost none of her glamour since; and (2) Sugar Ray Leonard, one of America's truly great pugilists.

To the right are my Diplomas from Carnegie Tech and the University of Virginia. The large RCA 811K console was a major restoration project. Since the photo was taken, I have added an RCA 45 rpm turntable (below) that was specifically made to plug into the "phono input" jack on the large console radios. When I was a teenager, only the "rich kids" had these, because their parents could afford the expensive console receiver into which to plug it. Later, RCA introduced a self-contained player based on the same changer and this was the quintessential 1950s teen music source, akin to today's ipods. They were especially advantageous since many times Mom & Dad's phono only played 78 rpm records, giving us an excuse to sneak into the basement to "dance".

RCA Model 45-J 45rpm changer    RCA Model 45-J 45rpm player

(left) 45 rpm changer (right) 45 rpm player
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The Gateleg Table was bulk trash day find. The Redskins Football is from the Jack Pardee era and came from a silent auction at a Washington Opera benefit (of all things...)

Model of the N&W No. 611 Locomotive in the Office

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A model of the famous Norfolk and Western J-Class No. 611 locomotive is displayed above the window on the East wall. (added after the photo was taken)

Last Fall, I had a fun time at the Virginia Museum of Transportation crawling all over this locomotive. Click Here for a slideshow of my photographs of the lovely Number 611

This completes the Office. Where would you like to go next?

The First Floor

Go to the Living Room Go to the Hall
Go to the Dining Room Go to the Kitchen
Go to the Florida Room Go to the Breakfast Room

The Second Floor

Go to the Master Bedroom
Go to the Guest bedroom Go to the Hallway
Go to the Library The Bathroom is not on the tour...
Office you are here

The Basement

Go to the Basement Storage Area
Go to the Dance Studio Area
Go to the Shop

If you don't like clicking on pictures:

You are in the Office:

OK -- Go someplace else

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