While Chatterbox wasn’t paying attention, the Old Executive Office Building, a grand Second Empire pile that stands beside the White House and houses White House aides who aren’t quite important enough to get offices in the executive mansion, was renamed the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building. This was apparently in tribute not to Eisenhower but to John Chafee, an Eisenhowerish Republican senator from Rhode Island, who had sponsored the bill to rename the OEOB, as it’s known, shortly before he died on Oct. 26. (To read the AP story about all this, click here.)
Chatterbox has no problem naming something else in Washington after Eisenhower, a great general and a pretty good president–there’s already a theater named after him in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts–but what about his erstwhile boss, Franklin Roosevelt? Time is reportedly getting ready to name him Man of the Century, and there seems to be general agreement that he was the best president the United States produced during the last 100 years. But–apart from the FDR Memorial, built only a few years ago–no other public structure in Washington that Chatterbox can think of is named after him. (The Roosevelt Bridge is named after Teddy.) Considering that FDR built much of Washington, this seems very unfair. FDR buffs who want to set things right are invited to get in touch with one another in the Fray. Chatterbox’s only request is that they not choose the New Executive Office Building, just up the street from the OEOB, because it’s really ugly.