Tag Archives: Harry S. Truman

President Truman’s (rather controversial) White House Redesign

Design is universal. Design is an important part of our lives. It’s found in our homes, our offices and in our most recognizable buildings. Design is necessitated by growth, maintenance, better functionality needs or pure aesthetics. Be it a one room renovation or an entire city block complex redesign, the project will undoubtedly grow and evolve from the original conceptual idea.

One of the United States most prominent buildings faced these very same challenges after the Great American Depression. Plagued from years of slashed maintenance budgets and the ever increasing size of the United States Government, President Harry Truman saw the need for a re-design of the White House’s West Wing. After a battle with Congress resulting in reconstruction funds being recalled, the irritated President took bold steps and altered the south face of the White House without Congressional approval. What happened next? It’s all a part of our federal government’s history. Visit the White House Museum’s website to read about the ups and downs of the White House Renovation. Can you relate?

Before: The south face, circa 1848, a century before the Truman Balcony. After: The south face in 1948, after the Truman Balcony was added

Since then, presidents have used the balcony to relax and entertain. Check out some images below:

The Fords mark their 24th wedding anniversary on the Truman Balcony in 1974

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Images: White House Museum

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