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Gutted: White House stripped to bare bones in late 1940s

The National Journal's Brian Resnick put together a fascinating look at the White House of the late 1940s with images from the National Archives that emphasize the cavernous quality of the structure while standing in stark contrast to the elegant, stately events that have played out over the years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Resnick writes:

The social events of the 1948 holiday season had to be canceled. And with good reason: Experts called the third floor of the White House “an outstanding example of a firetrap.” The result of a federally commissioned report found the mansion’s plumbing “makeshift and unsanitary,” while “the structural deterioration [was] in ‘appalling degree,’ and threatening complete collapse.” The congressional commission on the matter was considering the option of abandoning the structure altogether in favor of a built-from-scratch mansion, but President Truman lobbied for the restoration.

See 12 more images on the National Journal's site.