National Geographic : 1961 Jan
foundations. The new-old building, say en gineers, is built for ages to come. It is also built for comfort such as earlier Presidents never knew. "Hell itself couldn't warm that corner," Jackson once complained. "A temple of inconveniences," President Fill more described the place. Today, a maze of equipment in the new basement and subbasement keeps the air conditioned, highly mechanized building run ning with quiet efficiency. Soon after the 1952 reconstruction, I was invited-together with other reporters-for a tour of the President's living quarters. Mrs. Truman welcomed us to her second-floor 22 apartment with the pride of any housewife. The innovations were startling. Along the broad central corridor that runs the width of the house, doors opened on bed room suites radiating soft colors and modern comfort. East and west ends of the hall were partitioned off to create informal sitting rooms with bright wallpaper and draperies, easy chairs and reading lamps (page 26). Eagle Decorates President's Tub For the first time in 150 years, White House bedrooms had spacious built-in closets. The most impressive connected the Presi dent's bedroom with the First Lady's suite.