Frank Lazzaro with First Lady Rosalynn Carter in The Cross Hall. Frank was very busy that day decorating the Cross Hall with assorted holiday garland, sleeves up, no suit jacket attire on, when Mrs. Carter came in for a "surprise" inspection of the decorating. This was a great Sunday afternoon for Frank enjoying the company of The First Lady. The surprise visit caught Frank unguarded and he didn't have time to put his suit jacket attire on. The First Lady was very pleased with his work. Carter Administration
Frank is preparing to hang the heavy garland in The Cross Hall at The White House, the main hallway connecting all the beautiful rooms on the first floor. My peers and I created this heavy foliage garland by hand on a table set up in The Cross Hall. White Pine, Evergreen, Holly, Juniper with berries, and touches of Boxwood. All wired together to get the full effect and proper shape. This was an all day job and after it was completed, it looked so elegant hanging in the hall. The First Lady was so impressed with our work. Carter Administration. The Cross Hall is in the large Entrance Hall, prt of James Hoban's original plans of the White House. He was the architect that supervised the restoration of The White House after the British destroyed it on August 24, 1814. New furniture from France was selected, and the White House reopened on New Year's Day, 1818. The Cross Hall, with marble walls and floors added during the Truman renovation, is lighted by two Adam-style cut-glass chandeliers made in London about 1775. There are many portraits hanging at the east end of the Cross Hall: Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. A portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt hangs at the west end of the hall. I enjoyed the thrill of hanging the garland and decorating this beautiful hall with so much history and wealth endured in it. During the Kennedy Administration restoration, interior decorators arranged the furnishings to more closely resemble the cross hall at Malmaison. While a red carpet has traditionally been in the Cross Hall since the early 1960s, the carpet has, over time, become more detailed and the color has evolved. The current carpet, manufactured during the Clinton Administration, was designed to be more graphic, and to appear attractively in television broadcasts. The red was made more saturated, the shade slightly warmer, and a gold border of laurel leaves, medallions, and five-pointed stars, based directly on the carved stone border in the Grand Stairway was woven into the carpet's border. The current appearance of the Cross Hall is the result of a renovation and refurbishing completed in 1997.
A suite of upholstered gilded beech chairs and settées thought to have once belonged to James Monroe are arranged against the walls; two Empire pier tables are placed opposite the Madison suite of furniture and the guilded pier table from Monroe's original purchase for the Blue Room and restored by Jacqueline Kennedy is in the adjacent Entrance Hall. Portraits of recent U.S. presidents hang on the walls of the Entrance Hall and Cross Hall. "If you want to feel like a king in a palace, just walk down the red carpet in The Cross Hall", Frank told Walter Kaner, a columnist from his hometown paper, The Long Island Press, on a telephone interview after returning home from Washington.
The Cross Hall at Christmastime. Decorated by Frank Lazzaro and a team of professional floral decorators. See below two photographs of the garland being created by Frank Lazzaro on the State Floor (lower left) and the garland in Frank's arms before hanging it on the columns (lower right). This project took about five days to complete all the decorating in The Cross Hall. The very elegant red carpet was laid out across the floor after all the decorations were completed. Carter Administration.
"If you want to feel like a king in a palace, just walk down the red carpet in the Cross Hall". Frank Lazzaro's first press statement to Columnist Walter Kaner for the Long Island Press. Christmas in the Ford Administration
Frank creating a garland of assorted holiday greenery with berries and velvet bows to be hung on walls in The Cross Hall. With other professional decorators involved, this was a five day task. Carter Administration
Frank is on the center floor of the Cross Hall and ready to hang the thick hand-wired garland of assorted fresh cut evergreen with just a few touches of holly with red berries and juniper with red velvet bows that will be added on when the garland is draped on the wall in The Cross Hall. Everything must be ready for the First Lady's traditional "Inspection Tour" of the decorations later that evening. Carter Administration
"To think that I have been so privileged to walk through these same halls as did Adams, Lincoln and Kennedy did many decades ago." Frank Lazzaro's statement to a reporter from The Washington Post at The White House. Christmas 1979.
Frank decorating a Christmas Evergreen Tree in The Cross Hall. Carter Administration
Frank decorating a table in The Cross Hall. This was the first Christmas decorating of The White House for Frank. Ford Administration in 1974.
A Carousel Christmas at The White House
An Antique Horse (like the replica above) is used as a display prop decoration on the State Floor at the White House for Christmas
Frank assisting the White House staff of professional designers in the decorating of the Cross Hall with an antique wood Carousel Giraffe and other hand carved animals - Christmas in the Carter Administration
An antique Carousel theme of hand carved animals makes a beautiful Christmas display
Frank preparing the garland for the Cross Hall decorating. Carter Administration
Frank with a dear friend and co-worker in the Cross Hall at The White House. Carter Administration.
Below is a excellent video that was found on Youtube on making a beautiful Christmas Garland. This is the perfect way to create a professional looking holiday decor for your home. Decorate your home like the White House with an assortment of elegant fresh greens of garland.
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