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Echoes From the White House
HOME ABOUT THE PROGRAM VIRTUAL WHITE HOUSE THE CHANGING WHITE HOUSE RESOURCES
THE CHANGING WHITE HOUSE

From 1792 From 1817 From 1902 From 1952 1952-current:
page 1 of 3


1948-52
  • A committee under President Harry S. Truman discovers that the weight of the steel roof and attic additions of 1927 have over burdened the timbers supporting the interior. They also discover that numerous alterations to upgrade plumbing, heating, ventilation and wiring have weakened the wooden framework.

  • Given the symbolic and historic importance of the White House, a plan to keep the exterior and install a new interior modeled after the 1902 interior was agreed upon.

  • Modern heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, and communications systems are installed.

  • The only major change to the state floor was the main stairway, which now leads to the Entrance Hall. Many improvements were made to the family quarters and two new levels were added below ground. President Truman requests a balcony be built on the south portico. It is named the Truman Balcony.

White House during renovations in Truman's time.

White House during renovations in Truman's time.
Photograph by Abbie Rowe
Harry S. Truman Library

Truman Balcony

Truman Balcony
The White House Collection
White House Historical Association

Jacqueline Kennedy             
1961
  • John F. Kennedy has the Rose Garden redesigned to serve presidential functions.

  • First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy obtains legislation placing the White House under the National Parks Service, allowing unneeded objects to be stored or exhibited at the Smithsonian. Her efforts establish the White House as a public museum with a permanent collection.

  • Mrs. Kennedy obtains forms the Fine Arts Committee and begins the restoration of the furnishings and interior of the White House.

 Jacqueline Kennedy
Library of Congress

1952-current: page 1 of 3

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