White House Playground, c. 1933

The buzz over the movie The Butler reminded me of the unnamed domestic worker pictured in the first of these views of the playground President Roosevelt installed for his grandchildren on the South Lawn of the White House in 1933.  According to press reports at the time, the play space was designed by Mrs. Roosevelt with “one play spot in the sun for cool days and one in the shade for the days when the sun is hot”.

In some of the photos you can only see the worker’s arm, protectively holding the ladder.  We know the children’s names–they are Anne and Curtis Boettinger and ‘Sistie’ and ‘Buzz’ Dall–but not hers.

[found at the Library of Congress]


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