The Hidden White House

The Hidden White House

Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence

Book - 2013 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In 1948, Harry Truman, President of the United States, almost fell through the ceiling of the Blue Room in a bathtub into a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A team of the nation's top architects was hastily assembled to inspect the White House, and upon seeing the state the old mansion was in, insisted the First Family be evicted immediately. What followed was the biggest home-improvement job the nation had ever seen. The Trumans moved across the street to the Blair House, the Congress argued about how much the job would cost, and then, in the midst of it all, the Soviets exploded an atomic bomb. Rob Klara reveals what has been little understood about this episode: America's most famous historic home was basically demolished, giving birth to today's White House. The facade was left intact, but the entire structure was taken apart, removed, and replaced with a steel structure, including with a complex series of steel-reinforced subbasements and bomb shelters. The story of Truman's rebuilding of the White House is a snapshot of postwar America and its first Cold War leader.
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2013
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781250000279
Branch Call Number: 975.3 KLARA
Characteristics: viii, 371 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 23, 2016

Non-fiction: not what you might expect, based on the title alone. I found this account of the White House renovation undertaken during the Truman administration fascinating. The politics, the Cold War, the history of loss of priceless WH furnishings in previous renovations....and history repeats itself when less than 10 of the >300 rooms are restored to their original condition with carefully stored material, due to time constraints. Villains and heroes abound. Anyone can enjoy this history, but engineers, architects and designers will be in 7th heaven (or hell, given loss of original materials) reading this book.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top