Photos Show Reconstruction Of The White House Throughout 1950s
Photos have emerged which show the full extent of how the White House was renovated throughout the 1950s under the orders of President Harry Truman.
Because of the Great Depression and two world wars, the budget for repairing the White House was slashed, and this meant that work was ignored.
A near-gut renovation was then ordered by Truman because the flooring in the house was swaying as people walked on it, the bathtubs were falling into the floor, and the building itself was on the brink of collapsing.
Truman remarked of the old White House, “I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches… The floors pop and drapes move back and forth, I can just imagine old Andy and Teddy having an argument about Franklin… But I still get some work done.”
This renovation, which took place between 1948 and 1952, saw floors ripped out and plaster around the building replaced. It also saw the building of the Truman Balcony in the Executive Residence, whilst Greek-styled columns around the abode wer also given a facelift.
Truman had to fight for these changes though, as people from Capitol Hill and members of the general public believed that Truman’s ideas would alter the image of the White House.
During this redesign, the entire Truman family decided to move to 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue and into the Blair House as they looked to avoid the noise and dust that came down from the building.
The White House is currently going through another set of renovations, which began in 2010, and has seen updates to the East and West Wings.