Important People



Glen E. Edgerton
, born in Kansas in 1887, was a Major-General engineer in the army with experience in many different complex projects, such as the Panama Canal. He was chosen as an ideal candidate to oversee the White House renovation project based upon his previous experiences, and was quickly accepted as the Executive Director. During the White House renovation, Major- General Edgerton managed the complex relationship between the private contractors and the government Commission.





James Hoban was an Irish immigrant who came to American with high ambitions. Throughout his early career, Hoban designed a series of different buildings in Philadelphia and Charleston, but his claim to fame was his design of the White House. Hoban continued as the United States government's principal architext until President Jefferson replaced him in 1803.






Ernest Howard was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to Kansas City in 1901. In 1940, Howard became a partner in the Harrington, Howard & Ash firm that later became known as the Howard Needles Tammen & Bergendoff (HNTB) firm. In the months leading up to the renovation, President Truman appointed Howard to be the consulting engineer, who specialized in building bridges. Howard was key in designing the steel structure that would carry the weight of the new interior within the White House.




Pierre Charles L'Enfant came from France to the United States to fight in the Revolutionary War. In 1791, L'Enfant was appointed by President George Washington todesign the layout for the new federal city, Washington D.C. In the end, he chose to resign from his position instead of giving the control to a group of Commisioners. After his work on Washington, L'Enfant completed the design for Paterson, New Jersey. In 1901, the McMillan Commsion Plan used to make changes to the White House was heavily influenced by the original plans drawn up by L'Enfant.





John McShain was forced to take over his father's construction company, after his death in 1919. The John McShain Building, Inc, under the direction of John McShain, was a part of more than 100 buildingprojects in Washington D.C. from 1930s-1960s. A few of these projects included the Pentagon, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Library of Congress annex. McShain acquired the position of General Contractorfor the White House renovation project by being the lowest bidder, and then proceeded to nearly work himself to death during the project.




Abbie Rowe was a photographer hired by the Bureau of Public Records for the National Park Service. Rowe was requested to photograph numerous officialevents at the White House by President Franklin Roosevelt after he snapped a picture of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. When the Truman’s moved into the White House, Rowe was tasked with taking pictures both away from and at the White House. During the renovation, he had exclusive access to photograph the work within the building which led to the creation of a vast and invaluable resource. Rowe continued to work through the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and part of Johnson’s until his death in 1967.







Lorenzo Winslow was the Architect of the White House from 1933 to 1952. He was first assigned to the White House during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt to design a swimming pool. Also during the Roosevelt Presidency, Winslow worked on an upgrade of the electrical system and designed a new library on the ground floor. During the White House Renovation, Winslow served as secretary to the Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion, as well as, being the President's representative.