Harry S Truman inherited a White House that was in horrendous shape. After the British nearly burnt it to the ground in 1814, the construction of 20th-century innovations—indoor plumbing, electricity, and heating ducts—had also taken its toll on the structure. The building was nearly 150 years old, and it showed its age. In November 1948, the building was in a near-condemnable state... So it had to be gutted. Completely. — nationaljournal.com
The winning design, by the New York architecture firm Rogers Marvel, aided by the landscape architects Quennell Rothschild & Partners, is a nimble combination of boldness and restraint. It was clearly the strongest and among the least traditional in the competition, which also featured teams led by landscape architects Van Valkenburgh and Walter Hood. — latimes.com
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