Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Announces New Virtual Tour of the Texas White House
Special to Leader-Press
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is excited to announce the debut of a new, interactive virtual tour of the first floor of the Texas White House.
As a boy, Lyndon Johnson knew the home of his Uncle Clarence and Aunt Frank Martin as "the big house on the river." In 1951, Johnson took ownership of the house from his widowed aunt, and the expanding home and associated LBJ Ranch became a center of political activity for nearly 20 years. During the presidential years, the nation and world came to know the big house on the river as the Texas White House. Today, the majority of rooms have been restored to their appearance during the presidential years (1963-1969), while the master bedroom suites retain their appearance at the time of President and Mrs. Johnson's deaths (1973 and 2007, respectively). The Texas White House has been closed since 2018 due to health and safety concerns arising from structural issues. National Park Service staff and contracted experts have completed an assessment of the structure—parts of which are over a century old—and are developing an extensive rehabilitation project for the home and surrounding Texas White House Complex.
To provide an alternative experience to visitors during this closure, the National Park Service has worked with a small crew from Austin 360 Photography to scan every individual room in great detail. After the scan of the house, the crew stitched the scans together and worked with National Park Service staff to add interpretive tags and audio description.
The virtual tour will provide visitors with an inside look of the first floor of the Texas White House. In the virtual tour, visitors will be able to “walk” through at their own pace and gain knowledge on specific items of significance in each room. An auto-play feature is available for those interested in a guided virtual tour. Visitors can access the Texas White House virtual tour (including an audio-described tour for the visually impaired) via the park’s website – www.nps.gov/lyjo. Visitors can view the tour on their phone or computer via the website, or on a virtual reality headset. To experience the house with a VR headset, simply enter the website on your phone or headset, click on the virtual tour link on the homepage, then click the VR goggles icon in the right hand corner. The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.