New West Wing construction being completed

The Washington Post reports that construction going on for years around the West Wing is being completed now, with the fences and such coming down and the equipment silenced. The official line is only that the utilities have been upgraded: sewers, storm drains, steam pipes, and so on, and not that any additional office space, parking, or bomb shelter has been created. If that’s true, it seems like a missed opportunity.

Pottery Barn Decor

Us magazine is reporting that Michelle Obama and Michael Smith will decorate the family quarters with items from Pottery Barn. Now, maybe I’m stupid, but how much pottery can the first family need?

The article also mentions that the first kids will have to do “chores like pouring milk on their own cereal.” I don’t think pouring milk qualifies as a chore if it doesn’t first involve milking a cow.

The Lincoln White House

This diagram of the Lincoln second floor appears in Seale’s two-volume WH book. It shows the old west stair as a dual initial rise and a central rise to the second floor. But we know from photographs of the grand stair that by the 1890s it was a single initial rise at the right, a left turn, then a single rise to the second floor.

However, I don’t recall ever reading about that stair being renovated from dual to single. The question is, are we sure the dual rise stair was ever built? And when was it renovated to the single stair we see in the photos?

Redecoration speculation

Fox News has an article on moving into the White House. It’s a follow-up to their piece about White House food.

The AP has something on first lady transition tours.

Very grumpy article from The Scotsman on how darn much presidents and prime ministers spend redecorating to make things “homely”. (British pound conversion: double it and add thirty.*)

The Californian has an article with some juicy cost details I haven’t seen before in the right sidebar.

* I may have that wrong.