THE WHITE HOUSE: Closed for Repairs

The big house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue looked deserted. The windows, shorn of their rich hangings, had a vacant look about them, and on the White House gates there were neat, white wooden signs: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. Inside the mansion, a sander went to work in the East Room, smoothing away pits and scars on the quartered-oak parquet floor. By week's end the floor was ready for filling and waxing. This week a crew of maintenance men will move in to fix the floors, touch up the paneling in the State Dining Room, and dry-clean the soiled draperies and...

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