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Should the next president remodel the White House? If so, how so?

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:53 PM
Original message
Should the next president remodel the White House? If so, how so?
That is, remodel it to become a very different architectural symbol -- one that does not suggest the colonial era and, not least, the colonial architecture as retained through the Civil War and on into Reconstruction, etc.

Do you find the building itself to be welcoming? Do you find it unattractive? Symbolically repellent? Historically necessary? Stiff and flat-spirited? Acceptably traditional? Embarrassingly antiquated? Elegant? Stern? Under-landscaped? Too big? Too small? Just right?

Could a remodeled building be put to more use than just to house the president and his family? Should the Oval Office function be positioned somewhere else?

Are there enough trees?

Should there be a water feature more prominently exhibited? Sculpture? Solar panels? Wind turbines?

Should a nation whose high school textbooks refer to the U.S. as a cultural "melting pot" have an all-white building for the president's residence?

Is what's there now the way you want it to stay, or would you make changes, and if you'd make them, what would they be?
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MadBadger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rainbow Colored.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
39. Yeah! D.C. is beautiful and parklike but all that white is sort of sepulchral.
A rainbow would be a relief. :thumbsup:
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #39
71. I see a White House and I want it painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back...

Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when police states attack
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. why would we not want it to resemble the design of founding fathers?
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 08:57 PM by hlthe2b
Your premise bothers me...


But, I will say we should bring back the solar panels Carter installed and Reagan removed (actually the new improved ones)

While I'd also welcome more trees, the SS would never allow that... They would aid would be assassins.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. I understand the security issue on the trees, but what if the president's
work office were underground? As it is now, those tall colonial windows actually create a greater security risk. As there must be security patrols to protect the President and his family, or her family, could the security team not be positioned among the trees around the entirety of the grounds?

It seems as if that could be worked out if it had to be.

Also there could be a haul-in of dirt and an elevation of part of the architecture.

I'm right with you on the solar panels.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. all windows are bullet proof glass and they have SS on roof
(and throughout). Part of the problem they have now (which the SS does not like to discuss with the media) is the major amount of foliage and trees in distant areas surrounding the WH, but not so distant that they could not conceal a successful shooter. They won't talk about it with the press, but there have been attempts to shoot through the bullet-proof windows. You'll have to take it at face value my source is correct on that score, as they aren't supposed to discuss such matters. I believe them to be credible.

I have had to work subterranean in windowless offices. Not pleasant, nor particularly conducive to productive thought. I wouldn't even wish that on Bush*.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Solar panels and graywater recycling would be a nice touch. n/t
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. MAKE IT A MUSEUM AND BUILD A NEW MODERN ONE AS AN EXAMPLE
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:07 PM by billbuckhead
JUST SAYING! MAYBE WE SHOULD BUILD A NEW CAPITAL ANYHOW.

HELL, IT'S A UGLY G-D HOUSE ANYHOW. WE HAVE BETTER LOOKING HOUSES HERE IN BUCKHEAD. RELOCATE THE CAPITAL TO ATLANTA.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
66. Capslock. n/t
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. What a question!
I hate what's happened in the past 2 'admins' and think it has sullied this edifice, and if we could remove any trace of it I would.
Having said that, I think it should remain the same, with all the historical postives and negatives.
As for adding water features, sculptures, etc., it's been a long time since I've been there, but I would consider some additions assets.
More trees? Always!

:hi:
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Hey there, babylonsister. You bet -- more trees. At least that's what
my eyes are telling me. The yard of the current White House seems kind of bleak.
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Lava lamps and door beads.
:hippie:
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. LOL! They could fashion the lava lamps out of the weapons of mass
destruction that Mitch McConnell SWEARS are still there!
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. And Peace, Love, and Understanding!
:thumbsup:
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. We might as well throw on a Peter, Paul & Mary record while we're in town...
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
58. You're a Kucinich supporter, aren't you?
:evilgrin:
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Laura turned the Lincoln bedroom into...
....a purple and gold vision. I'd like to see that redecorated more tastefully. Somehow a gilded corona over the bed seems a bit pretentious, even for a Texas Republican -- the big hair of bed decor, I suppose.

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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Ewwww!
I had no idea. They should go to Period appropriate furnishings, which I think are much simpler than this.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Even a trip to Home Depot would be an improvement over that.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Dear god. That looks stilted and ill-colored and gaudy. The palm tree is
especially ridiculous. I guess when Florida stops the votes for your opponent you honor the state's foilage.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. Oh, God... that is truly truly horrendous!
Good heavens, they really are a tacky crew, aren't they?
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
33. It's in line with their imperial ambitions.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
41. Actually... that MAY have been what Lincoln's room first looked like
The White House during Mary and Abraham Lincoln's Residence
by Sarah E. Mitchell
http://www.vintagedesigns.com/fam/wh/linc/index.htm


President and Mrs. Lincoln, and their sons Willie and Tad, moved into the White House in March of 1861 (around the 4th). Congress had recently authorized previous President Buchanan to spend $20,000 on refurnishing the White House and building a new conservatory, so the White House was presumably in very good shape at the time. Of course, the Lincoln family would want to make their own arrangements of the interior.

First, a couple of descriptions of the White House and its grounds from those who saw it at the time:

W. M. Morrison reported in 1862, "The grounds about the President's house are tastefully adorned with artificial mounds, gravel walks, trees, and a fountain. . . . . Appended to the main building, at either end, are long, low ranges of stalls with flat roofs, which are used for various household purposes. That on the west is surmounted by a beautiful greenhouse, which is filled with exotic plants. The public approach the President's house on the north side, except on Wednesday evenings in summer, when a sort of out-of-door reception is given, accompanied with music in the grounds on the south side. The entrance from the north porch is into a long vestibule, through which the visitor passes to the right into the President's reception room. This communicates with the Round room, formed by the south bow front, and this with a Square room, which adjoins the great East Room. This last is the grand parlor of the President. As its name indicates it is in the east end of the building, and extends entirely across the house, from north to south. It is 80 feet long by 40 wide and 22 high. These rooms are elegantly but not extravagently finished and furnished. They can be seen at all times by strangers -- the President only at certain hours set apart by himself."



William Crook, one of the Lincoln's bodyguards, described the property: "The White House and is surroundings during wartime had much the appearance of a Southern plantation -- straggling and easy- going. On the east side of the house . . . was a row of outhouses, a carriage-house and a woodshed among them. Back and east were the kitchen-garden and the stable where the President's two horses were kept . South of the house was a short stretch of lawn bounded by a high iron fence. Still beyond was rough undergrowth and marsh to the river. North and to the west was a garden, divided from the rest of the grounds by tall fences. It was a real country garden, with peach trees and strawberry vines as well as flowers. . . . he people about the house told me that Mrs. Lincoln strawberries for the table herself."
The first levee of the new administration

The Lincolns held their first levee on the night of March 8. At that time, the Lincoln family had probably not had opportunity to make many changes to the interior of the White House, so the house still looked much like it had during Buchanan's administration. Some facts about the interior decoration can be derived from an account:
Mary Lincoln

"The first evening reception, or levee, of the new family of the White House came off this evening. Advertised as limited to the two hours between eight and ten, it continued nearly two hours longer. It was a jam, it was a rush, it was a cram, it was a crush, it was an omnium gatherum of all sorts of people. . . . The ladies are dying to see how Mrs. Lincoln fills the place of Miss Lane ; . . . how she looks, how she will do; what ladies are assisting in the honors of the occasion, how they are dressed, and how they will do. . . .

"After an hour's crushing and pushing and suffocation in this energetic mob, fresh and strong from the body of the people, we are rewarded with a propulsive movement in the rear, which nearly precipitates our whole part of five into Abraham's bosom. Our ladies blush with shame and indignation; but promptly recovering their self-possession, the are introduced to 'Old Abe,' who shakes their hands cordially, smiles graciously, address them familiarly, and we pass onto Mrs. Lincoln, who, nearer the centre of the room, maintains her position with the steadiness of one of the Imperial Guard. She is neither tall nor slender in her figure, but rather below the medium height, with the well-rounded proportions of a wholesome little Western matron . . . . dressed on this occasion in what the ladies call a Magenta (brilliant red) watered silk, with a lace cape, and with her abundant light brown hair tastefully relieved by a half-dozen red and white japonicas in a wreath behind the ears. . . . The debut of Mrs. Lincoln was pronounced satisfactory by the ladies competent to decide. . . .

"The reception Elliptical Saloon, and with is large, cosy and luxurious chairs and lounges, its Japanese curiousities in the way of parlor ornaments, its plentiful supply of natural flowers, etc. is elegantly furnished; and, when not overcrowded with men, but conveniently full of beautiful women and tasteful costumes, presents a charming picture. . . ."

During Buchanan's adminstration, in 1860, a group of Japanese ambassadors had visited the White House, bringing 15 large boxes of Japanese articles as gifts. Lacquered ware, swords, a tea set inlaid with pearls and gold, saddles, bed curtains, screens, and a cabinet were among the articles given. Presumably, the Oval room was still decorated with some of these "Japanese curiosities," as mentioned in the above account.
Changes according to the taste of the new occupants

Abraham and Mary Lincoln, of course, did some redecorating in the White House. Mary chose a new carpet for the East Room. It was pale green in color, and "in effect looked as if ocean in gleaming and transparent waves were tossing roses at your feet."

The Lincolns reportedly favored black walnut furniture, an example of which is the famed 9-foot tall Lincoln bed. In Springfield, Illinois, the couple had owned some American Empire-style furniture, but they seemed to favor Victorian styles when in the White House.

A surviving photograph of the East Room taken during the period that the Lincoln's inhabitated the White House shows two large chandeliers with many prisms; wall-to-wall carpeting with strips in different colors and decorated with figures (probably of roses); busts and paintings on the walls; the mantle visible in the picture is white (presumably marble), floral arangements festoon the top and a mirror is hung over it. A few chairs are placed by the walls, and the ceiling appears to be decorated with very busy figures, though I cannot make out what they are.

A photograph of the President's reception room features a large Victorian chandelier with globes over the lights; a large mirror over the mantle; the mantle has what appears to be a clock on top. All the chairs in the room have slipcovers over them; however, the photograph may have been taken during the summer, when it was common to cover much of the furniture to protect it from dust, etc. coming in through open windows. The floor is coverd with wall-to-wall carpeting, which is fairly dark in color and has a border and a central medallion. The walls are wall-papered with a design that features a fairly light background with a small, repeated figure and a heavy, dark border.

Mrs. Lincoln purchased new china for the White House, purple-bordered Limoges-Haviland pieces decorated with the arms of the United States of America. Mrs. Lincoln also had the kitchen moved to a different part of the basement, perhaps to provide better natural light.
Boys will be boys...

And they are frequently hard on furniture! The Lincolns' two younger sons, Willie and Tad, lived with them in the White House. Tad was in particular a rambunctious young man.

One day, a group of ladies were admiring the East Room. They were startled by the appearance of Tad and his pair of pet goats. The goats were hitched to a kitchen chair, on which Tad was seated as he drove them through the house. (One of Ted's goats was once found on his bed upstairs, so evidently the goats enjoyed visiting in the White House!)

Another time, Tad was throwing a ball in the house and broke a mirror. When Tad said that he didn't think his father would care, his older brother Willie reminded him that the mirror did not belong to their parents, but the United States government.

For a joke, at one point Tad stacked chairs on a settee, then hid behind the pile. When President Lincoln stepped into the room, Tad sent the whole pile, chairs and settee, tumbling into the middle of the room at the feet of his father. Abraham reportedly roared with laughter.
Bigger concerns than furniture

However, the Civil War would quickly overshadow any emphasis on redecorating and maintaining the White House. Tumultous days would follow, when carpets were ruined by the continual coming and going of soldiers, guards would sleep on couches in the White House, and the last thought on anyone's mind was preserving the furniture.

At one levee, furniture had to be used as a podium from which to greet the crowds. General Grant, who was visiting, was almost overwhelmed by the crush of people; finally Secretary Seward pulled Grant up onto a nearby sofa, from which Grant bowed to the crowds as they passed. Grant called the experience his "warmest campaign in the war."

Mrs. Lincoln stopped holding receptions for a period of time after the death of Willie. She reportedly would never again enter the room where Willie lay in state after his death.
The continual problem of souvenier takers

Vandalism and pilfering has continually been a problem in the White House in almost every administration. However, the Lincolns seemed to have a particularly hard time with it. During one levee, a piece of the red brocade curtains in the East Room almost a yard square was cut out and taken away; a smaller piece disappeared from a curtain in the Green Room; and flowers from the floral design in the lace curtains were cut and secreted away. Evidently other odds and ends also disappeared during the evening, and some arrests were made after the reception. At other times, guests actually were caught cutting pieces of upholestry fabric off furniture!

Often so many people came to receptions that it was hard to keep an eye on valuables. On the day of Lincoln's second inauguration, an estimated 15,000 people poured into the White House. (At the inaugural ball, held elsewhere, the crowds were unruly and gentleman hoping to get food for themselves and companions had to fight their way to the tables holding refreshments. Often by the time the gents got back to the ladies, other people along the way had snatched much of the food off the plates, leaving very little behind.)
A sad ending to the Lincoln years

Shortly after Lincoln's second inauguration, he was shot at Ford's Theatre and died soon thereafter. Lincoln's body was held in state in the East Room before being moved to the Capital, and then onto his eventual final resting place.

Mrs. Lincoln stayed in the White House for a short period of time after Abraham's death, due to her being ill. New President Andrew Johnson and his family would find the White House in sad shape when they finally did move in. His daughter, Mrs. Patterson, would direct the re-decoration of the White House.

Illustrations from Esther Singleton, The Story of The White House, Vol. II, The McClure Company, New York, 1907. No credit is given for the origin of the illustration of President Lincoln's New Year's Reception, 1862. The photograph of Mrs. Lincoln is attributed to the F. H. Meserve Collection. Digital editing of images by Sarah E. Mitchell.

Resources used:

* Margarita Spalding Gerry, Editor, Through Five Administrations: Reminiscences of Colonel William H. Crook, Body-Guard to President Lincoln, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, 1910
* Lydia L. Gordon, From Lady Washington to Mrs. Cleveland, Lee and Shepherd, Boston, 1888 or 1889
* Ben Perley Poore, Perley's Reminscences, Vol. II, Hubbard Brothers, 1886
* Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: War Years, Vols. 1-4, Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., New York, 1939
* Esther Singleton, The Story of The White House, Vol. II, The McClure Company, New York, 1907
* Gillson Willets, Inside History of the White House, The Christian Herald, New York, 1908
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #41
62. Very interesting!
Thanks for posting
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Gelliebeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #41
65. SoCalDem
Please be aware that DU copyright rules require that excerpts of copyrighted material be limited to four paragraphs and must include a link to the original source.

Thanks
Gelliebeans
DU Moderator
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momster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
49. My Eyes!
That wallpaper would keep me up...just knowing it was there in the dark...biding it's time....

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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
54. And we paid for that!?!
Barf!
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
55. Is that now Draculas room?
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 02:40 AM by TheGoldenRule
:scared:
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
61. what a cold room
nt
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
70. My eyes ! My eyes !
At least the bedding is tastefully understated :silly:
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Nah, just exorcise it and be sure to fumigate. That oughta handle everything.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. smudge pot!. . . . .n/t
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. Ummmm. OK. That's important, I guess...
Or not.
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Didereaux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. Burn it down...makes sure no re-cockroaches remain!
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
16. as I think about it....
...I think the plan should be WWJD. What Would Jacquie Do?
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Oh, good, no, great answer. That lady had taste. nt
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:17 PM by babylonsister
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. grasswire, that's really an excellent suggestion. The woman knew what
she was doing in these kinds of matters.

Yes. I would trust her instincts and skill for this project.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
21. I've been thinking that maybe The British had the right idea in 1814.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:13 PM by IanDB1
It would certainly be a big improvement over today's White House.

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. You don't mess around, Ian. In addition to the brainy text in your posts,
you provide supporting illustrations.

I appreciate both. Thank you.

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liberaltrucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
24. Fumigation, rather than remodeling may be in order.
:beer:
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
25. First the place has to be thoroughly disinfected
a priest or shaman will also be needed to cleanse the building of evil.

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CorpGovActivist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
26. Some Might Suggest Removing the Urinal...
... from the bathroom off the Oval.

; )

- Dave
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
29. Put the Ws back in the keyboards
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
31. The first thing it to take two weeks to have it steam cleaned.
totally and thoroughly.
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Agreed. The whole place probably reeks of stupidity and greed.
n/y
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klook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
32. Devote one room to displays of torture techniques
--waterboarding, people shackled to the floor with short chains, earsplitting heavy metal music playing for hours at a time, electric shocks to the genitals, etc. -- just to remind everyone of what the previous administration represented.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
35. Board up the right wing.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #35
43.  : )
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
36. Someone will have to conduct an exorcism before doing anything else.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:53 PM by ocelot
That place is infected with some seriously nasty juju right now.
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appleannie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #36
48. My first thought was fumigate but I
like your answer better.
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
37. Turn it into a hospital for the indigent or a homeless shelter.
Then move his or her ass into a smaller place.
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Raejeanowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. My Sentiments Exactly
I was about to declare the entire thread an irrelevant waste of time and move on. Actually, they could build a few more housing units on all that real estate; take care of all of DC's homeless including indigent vets.

Since taxpayers are already footing the bill, why not spend it on something worthwhile?
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
38. I would think an immediate fumigation would be in order.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
42. It needs solar-powered geothermal heat pump heating/cooling/water heating,
retrofitting of insulation (presumably), and a greywater reuse plan. Composting toilets would be an extra nice touch.

But I like the traditional design and decor. It's what's known as "Early American", and it suits. The WH is a national treasure.

Oh, BTW, the thing it needs worst is immediate removal of the vermin within its walls. Perhaps this would be an appropriate situation for tanglefoot traps.
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. We should get rid of the rats, too!
n/t
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
44. NO< but check to make sure the Rs didn't bug the place to spy on the Dem President!
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Not a bad idea at all. After 7-8 years of Bush, a complete search & rehaul of
all wiring is warranted.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
47. absolutely not. there are going to be many more pressing needs for the taxpayer's money.
someday, though...
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. I was thinking it could come out of Dick Cheney's pension...
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
51. Fill in all the rat holes dug by Cheney
It's bad enough having a sneaky government above ground. Cheney created an entire alternate government in the bowels of the earth.

Fill it all in.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Good idea. It would take a while. Eight years of extensive rat-burrowing
will be a challenge, but it has to be done.
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
53. I think they need to bring the Louozzo family in to redecorate.


Fumigating isn't enough.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
56. Call in the D.C. fire department
and just thoroughly hose the whole place out.
Twice.
Then disinfect.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
57. Remove the yellow pissy rug.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
59. Remove the SS lightning bolts from the keyboards. n/t
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. LOLOL!
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
60. first they have to have cleansing rituals


all the windows and doors flung open to remove the stink

bathrooms bleached clean

new window drapery

fresh flowers in every room

energizing latin beats floating thru the air

newly baked goodies and tea for all the cleaners and rearrangers

the rose garden expanded, new trees and bushes planted

(they could have Nisi Nash and the Clean House gang do their thing)

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
64. Me, I'd put solar panels up and fix the water system to reclaim more.
Then, I'd tackle the East Room. Gah, that room is ugly. An icky gold that just doesn't work well with anything nice. I'm thinking I'd change it to crimson and cream instead and use smaller window treatments so they don't overwhelm the room.

All the main rooms need to be softened a notch or two. Everything's so stinkin' big that the small rooms are overwhelmed and just look tacky.

Then I would look at electricity usage and put in motion-activated lights and energy-efficient lightbulbs everywhere. I'd turn down the thermostats everywhere I could get away with, too.

It's a decent building, actually, far smaller than it looks on tv. I'd keep it, just use it better. Some rooms don't seem to be used for much anymore, just tours. I don't get that. Why not actually use them?
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calteacherguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
67. Solar panels on the roof, an organic garden, and fruit trees.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
68. drill holes down to the bunker, so sunlight burns Cheney.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
69. I've never really thought about it, but my first impulses are:
I would start with a whole house scrubbing with vinegar and water, a carpet shampooing, linen and drapery cleaning, I'd rinse the vinegar wash out with some lavender water, and then I'd sage the whole place. Including the grounds. I might ask some native elders to come and do a drumming and a dance around the place as well.

I think the architecture, as a historical structure, should remain the same. I'd put heating under the floors, a solar energy system, a gray water system, and whatever else could be done to modernize energy efficiency and "green" the place up without compromising the structure.

I'd put living quarters and offices someplace else; a new structure, perhaps.


I'd redecorate it as a period piece, with a section or a few rooms for each period of American history since it was built, and I'd leave the whole thing open for tours, banquets, and other events, while the business of government goes on in the new offices.

I'd do the same with the gardens.

I don't have any preference for outer color.
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