Photo by Derek Jensen, from The White House Museum (www.whitehousemuseum.org)
Yesterday, we blogged about President-elect Barack Obama's one-time architectural aspirations and it seems we weren't the only ones interested in the impact the new presidency will have on the A&D community. On the heels of that news, the Associated Press asks whether the new administration will mean a new, greener White House.
Of course, every four to eight years, the historic interiors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW get an overhaul of sorts as each President adds his (and perhaps one day her) own signature to the storied structure. According to the AP, for Franklin Roosevelt, it was an indoor swimming pool, while Gerald Ford built an outdoor pool. George H. Bush opted for a horseshoe pitch and Bill Clinton installed a running track (which was recently removed). Benjamin Harrison installed electric lighting. Harry Truman added a second-floor balcony over the south portico and also oversaw an extensive reconstruction in the late 1940s when the house was declared in imminent danger of collapse.
Focused on bringing change of all kinds to Washington, will Obama think of the big picture and aim to make the White House green? Congress provides $100,000 every four years to redecorate White House rooms that are used for the first family's private residence. Given the choice, what would you do with this budget?