You've Never Seen the White House Look Quite Like This

So much for the idea that Lincoln actually slept in the Lincoln Bedroom.

When Harry S Truman took office as President, he inherited a White House in near-condemnable state. The New York Times reported at the time

The ceiling of the East Room, elaborately done in the frescoes of fruits and reclining women and weighing seventy pounds to the square foot, was found to be sagging six inches on Oct. 26, and now is being held in place by scaffolding and supports.... But it took the $50,000 survey authorized by Congress to disclose the fact that the marble grand staircase is in imminent danger. Supporting bricks, bought second hand in 1880, are disintegrating.

Social events had to be canceled. The plumbing was found to be "makeshift and unsanitary." Structural deterioration was in "appaling degree," and the threat of a complete collapse led to the White House being completely gutted. National Journal got a hold of these remarkable images from the National Archives of the complete restoration process:

View of the South Portico of the White House, 02/16/1952


Workers inside Ductwork during the Renovation of the White House, 07/19/1951


The Shell of the White House during the Renovation, 05/17/1950


View from the Lincoln Room during the White House Renovation, 01/23/1951


Second Floor Oval Study above Blue Room during the White House Renovation, 03/09/1950


East Wall of the State Dining Room of the White House during the Renovation, 03/01/1950


White House Main Stairway, 02/23/1950


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