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The President's Office

The White House serves multiple functions, including providing an office for the President of the United States. The Oval Office has been the primary presidential workspace since 1909, when President William Howard Taft worked in the first iteration of the Oval Office. Prior to the construction of the West Wing, presidents worked elsewhere in the White House. Whether the president is addressing the nation, signing legislation, discussing issues with cabinet members, or meeting with leaders of the world, the president’s office provides an important and symbolic setting. Discover the history of the president’s office, how presidents used different workspaces, and why the Oval Office was constructed.