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The Shell of the White House during the Renovation-05-17-1950
The White House Reconstruction, also known as the Truman Reconstruction, was a comprehensive dismantling and rebuilding of the interior of the White House from 1949 to 1952. A century and a half of wartime destruction and rebuilding, hurried renovations, additions of new services, technologies, the added Third Floor and inadequate foundations brought the Executive Residence portion of the White House Complex to near-imminent collapse. In 1948, architectural and engineering investigations deemed it unsafe for occupancy, and President Harry S. Truman, his family, and the entire residence staff were relocated across the street. For over three years, the White House was gutted, expanded, and rebuilt. Although the scope, costs, and historical authenticity of the work were criticized by some at the time, the reconstructed mansion has proved a safe, stable, well-functioning residence for First Families ever since.