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Photos of the White House Gutted During Its Truman Reconstruction

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Did you know that the White House was completely gutted and rebuilt on the inside between 1949 and 1952? After decades of poor maintenance, the building was in danger of collapsing in 1948, which forced President Harry Truman to move out and commission a complete gutting and rebuilding of the building’s insides.

The U.S. National Archives has been publishing photographs showing the gutted White House to its Flickr photostream.

The reconstruction project required that the entire interior of the house be dismantled so that new load-bearing steel beams could be put in.

Although the exterior of the house was basically unchanged when Truman moved back in on March 27, 1952, the interior finishes had little historic value left in them. The entire cost of the rebuilding project: about $5.7 million.

Here are some photographs captured during the process, and the original captions they were published with:

New Steps of the South Portico Being Erected during the White House Renovation
New Steps of the South Portico Being Erected during the White House Renovation
The Shell of the White House during the Renovation
The Shell of the White House during the Renovation
White House, Lower Corridor
White House, Lower Corridor
Second Floor Oval Study above Blue Room during the White House Renovation
Second Floor Oval Study above Blue Room during the White House Renovation
Northeast View in the East Room during the White House Renovation
Northeast View in the East Room during the White House Renovation
Workers inside Ductwork during the Renovation of the White House
Workers inside Ductwork during the Renovation of the White House
Northeast View of the State Dining Room during the White House Renovation
Northeast View of the State Dining Room during the White House Renovation
Construction Equipment inside the White House
Construction Equipment inside the White House
Southwest View of the North Portico of the White House during the Renovation
Southwest View of the North Portico of the White House during the Renovation
View from the Lincoln Room during the White House Renovation
View from the Lincoln Room during the White House Renovation
Bedroom and Sitting Room of the White House during the Renovation
Bedroom and Sitting Room of the White House during the Renovation
White House East Room
White House East Room
White House Lobby During the Renovation
White House Lobby During the Renovation
White House Main Stairway
White House Main Stairway
View of the South Portico of the White House
View of the South Portico of the White House
West View in the Third Floor Corridor of the White House during the Renovation
West View in the Third Floor Corridor of the White House during the Renovation

You can find more of these photos in this National Archives set on Flickr.

(via National Journal via The Verge)


Image credits: Photographs by the National Archives and the Harry S. Truman Library

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