Sunday, August 30, 2015


In the late '40s, the White House
was in a condemnable state

To save it, everything had to go

Harry S Truman inherited a White House that was in horrendous shape. After the British nearly burnt it to the ground in 1814, the construction of 20th-century innovations—indoor plumbing, electricity, and heating ducts—had also taken its toll on the structure. The building was nearly 150 years old, and it showed its age.
The social events of the 1948 holiday season had to be canceled. And with good reason: Experts called the third floor of the White House “an outstanding example of a firetrap.”

So it had to be gutted. Completely. Every piece of the interior, including the walls, had to be removed and put in storage. The outside of the structure—reinforced by new concrete columns—was all that remained. Read more.

The White House, after being gutted in 1950

(National Archives / Truman Library)

(National Archives / Truman Library)

(National Archives / Truman Library)

(National Archives / Truman Library)

(National Archives / Truman Library)


De 1949 à 1952, la Maison Blanche fut entièrement rénovée sous le mandat du Président Truman. Les photos inédites de la Maison Blanche pendant les travaux sont ici : http://goo.gl/oh6kVM

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