Origins of the Presidency and Official Duties

The White House

What changes have been made to the White House post-September 11?

For two years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the public had limited access to the White House as work was done to strengthen security and redecorate several areas. In January 2002, President George W. Bush unveiled a redecorated Oval Office, featuring bronze silk damask draperies, an oval custom-made rug featuring the presidential seal, cream-colored sofas, and Texas landscape paintings. Upstairs in the president’s private quarters, longtime Bush family decorator Ken Blasingame remade several of the president’s rooms. Although White House curator William Allman said, “To the naked eye, nothing much has changed,” several rooms have been redecorated, including the East Room, which has had a $200,000 update. Some historic paintings in the Red, Green, and Blue Rooms have been reframed, and gardeners planted a new row of crab apple trees in the Rose Garden.

By the late 1940s, the White House was literally falling apart. President Truman had no choice but to completely rebuild the president’s home.


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