Inside the White House on Historypin

From 1947 through 1952, the White House underwent a complete reconstruction within its original exterior walls. To get a better idea about the transformation of the White House, and “witness” its 1950s renovation compared to the current look of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, you and your students can take a visual tour of the Blue Room on Historypin.

Draping Wall Coverings in the White House Blue room
Northeast View, White House Blue Room, March 14, 1952

Shortly after moving into the White House, President Harry S. Truman had noticed the telltale signs of a building under serious physical stress. Engineering reports confirmed it was in a serious state. Burned to the exterior walls in 1814, further compromised by the successive additions of indoor plumbing, gas lighting, electric wiring, heating ducts, and major modifications in 1902 and 1927, some said the White House was standing only from the force of habit. So the Trumans moved across the street and the renovation was underway.

The tour combines historical photographs from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, a part of the National Archives, with Google Street View. You can see firsthand the changes that the White House underwent!

The National Archives joined Historypin in 2011, excited to overlay—or “pin”—historic images, videos and audio recordings right onto the sights of today. We’ve uploaded many historical images and created tours and collections on our Historypin Channel. And after Google’s Street View cameras photographed the inside of the White House last year, the Truman Library was able to create this one-of-a-kind look inside the Commander in Chief’s residence.

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