Saturday, February 18, 2012

“By the time Truman became president, the decay could no longer be ignored. As the White House Museum describes it, “Floors no longer merely creaked; they swayed. The president’s bathtub was sinking into the floor. A leg of Margaret’s piano broke through the floor in what is today the Private Dining Room. Engineers declared the whole house to be in imminent danger of collapse.”
“Over the next three years, the interior of the White House was removed and completely replaced, and President Truman and his family lived across the street. The result was a sound, durable structure that basically reproduced the original White House. But as a 1962 Post article noted:
“all the mellow feeling of the old house gave way to a stark atmosphere of solidity. As one Washington columnist observed, “The White House is safe, all right, but it has completely lost its charm. That restoration took the heart out of the building. When those floors creaked, you knew Lincoln had been walking there before you. Now it has no more appeal than the Pentagon.”

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