8 January 2010. Add Google Earth aerial.
12 November 2009. Add top photo.
6 April 2009. Updated.
3 April 2009
|Google Earth, 28 August 2010
President Barack Obama walks with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett across West
Executive Avenue to the West Wing of the White House, following a Small Business
and Health Insurance Reform event, Oct 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo
by Pete Souza)
|What is the building on the right? (Located west of the swimming pool.)
Answer to cryptome[at]earthlink.net.
New York Times, 29 March 2009
|A5 writes April 5, 2009:
White House blackbox is a data center, water cooled, heating the pool.
|A4 writes April 3, 2009:
I use to work there. I can say that both A2, A3 and cryptome are not correct.
There are definitely no vehicles stored in there, except for the occasional
construction truck and it has nothing to do with the pool or a gym.
The building on the East side which is green is a visitor entrance area that
is being constructed, although I am sure there is some more work going on
there than just that. The building on the West side, the white one you refer
was labeled as a "communications" project. It started in the summer of 2005.
There is probably some more infrastructure going on in there as well, but
the buildings are constructed mainly to keep the noise and interruptions
down in quite a sensitive and small environment, this allows them to work
relatively un-interrupted. I have heard some thoughts that the project was
for vehicle access, but it seems way too small for that kind of project.
My understanding is that this project will also help tie in some of the work
going on in the EEOB as well.
|April 5, 2009. Add five following photos.
February 3, 2008
Compate to photo below dated May 17, 2008
The vehicle nearest the building appears to be like the one below used for
presidential satellite communications.
September 15, 2008
(reduced and cropped.)
July 16, 2008
July 21, 2008
Upper portion of the building is to the left of the man's head.
December 9, 2008
|April 3, 2009. Add ten following photos.
The white box appears to be under construction at left center.
July 1, 2007
If the building was constructed between July 1 (above) and this photo on
July 30, it would have been a pre-fabricated shell with interior fitout later.
July 30, 2007
November 2, 2007
December 25, 2007
February 17, 2008
This shows a portion of the north side of the building. Parked next to it
is a communications vehicle.
May 17, 2008
And another view of the north side:
June 26, 2008
January 20, 2009
|2 April 2009
Two comments on the White House white box:
1. My office is located one block from the White House. While
the RISC 1 truck was frequently seen driving around the White
House complex when the team was stood up in 2004, I have not seen it
at all since approximately 2006. It was frequently parked in front
of the USSS Presidential Protection complex on New York Avenue NW near
the Corcoran Gallery. I vaguely recall seeing it entering a
parking complex which leads me to doubt that, if RISC is still in
existence, the new building in question is a garage for it. Plus,
the USSS would not station its critical response team well within the
Further, it's my understanding that the black Ford chassis ambulance style
rig is a nuke/chem/bio response vehicle -- the second row of the max-cab
is taken up by a rather extensive computer rack. It is still a
standard part of the POTUS motorcade and I don't believe considered
part of the RISC team.
2. The fact that a significant construction project on the
White House grounds has not yielded any coverage should lead us to
believe the building has significant national security implications
-- significant enough for the press NOT to report on it -- otherwise
the press would have written about the first time a shovel was turned.
The main stream media leave no trivial fact about the First
Family unwritten. From the new playground equipment for the First
Daughters to the vegetable garden the First Lady planted, all have
garnered significant coverage.
Clearly a reporter has asked about this new project -- they'd be guilty
of professional malpractice not to ask about a huge project such as
that. If it was a gym, we'd know because ESPN would lead with
the story for a week. The fact that the elephant in the room (or,
in this case, the big white building right outside the West Wing) hasn't
gotten coverage is enough to lead me to believe someone asked and the
answer was "please don't ask."
The building is the building that houses the bathouse (changing rooms, showers,
toilets, and the ladies powder room) and the pool's filter equipment.
The filter is the machinery that removes particles from the pool water as
well as injects the chlorene (which kills bacteria).
The pool's water is constantly circulated through the filter equipment, which
also has an ultravilet germicidal lamp that shines on the water, killing
February 8, 2009. Photo by kunal (cropped)
the building is shown on Google Earth, v. 5.0 (2009), imagery dated January
20, 2009 and shows moving vans at the White House:
A writes to suggest the building houses the White House emergency vehicles
for fire, hazmat and rescue. In 2004 the Secret Service
the Rapid Intervention Safety and Command (RISC) unit for this purpose. Two
RISC vehicles below.
Cryptome best guess: Due to its height, rectangular dimensions and roof-top
ventilators, it could be a gymnasium with basketball court and exercise
equipment, accessible from the Ground (street) level of the West Wing. Note
that the east side is embedded in terrain which could link to the Ground
level, and there could be access from the yard level above where the swimming
pool is located. (Side issue: how to get the design of the building approved
by the ultra-rigorous DC Arts Commission -- perhaps by calling it a temporary
structure to protect the institution of the presidency (gag), or best,
a national contingency operations emergency (puke).)
The use of this facility would avoid the security problem of Barack's daily
travel to the Interior Department gym a few blocks away. And give Michelle
and the girls a larger space with more exercise devices than the treadmill
room in theWhite House.
However, the Situation Room is located north of this facility and it could
be an adjunct to that. Or it could house the beastly presidential limousines
-- a way for Obama to enter and exit the vehicle without exposure to snipers
in the rooftop press tents eternally microscoping the petri dish.
There has been construction adjacent to this area in the Eisenhower Executive
Office Building and this structure might have been constructed as part of
that project. It appears to be a quickly-built structure, perhaps with metal
More on the West Wing floor plans and construction history:
Compare to secret Navy tunneling facility: