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