The White House is being spruced up while President Donald Trump spends a working vacation in New Jersey this week.
Officials said on Tuesday that marble would be repaired and re-grouted, ceilings would be repainted and paving stones leveled while Trump remains ensconced in his private golf club.
The renovations include new bathrooms in the West Wing where the facilities haven’t been updated in four decades. The wood-paneled elevator is also being updated, along with plumbing in the Navy Mess, the White House’s cafeteria.
Long averse to being seen as vacationing, Trump has insisted his stay in New Jersey is mostly work. He played golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, over the weekend and will meet with corporate chiefs on Tuesday evening.
Last year, Trump’s extended stay at his Bedminster golf resort also coincided with major renovations at the White House, including upgrades to the West Wing lobby and structural work in the executive mansion.
Aides at the time decried the state of the building, saying it required much-needed repairs.
“There was an emphasis on bringing back the history to this building and the elegance,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters during a tour of the results last year.
Much of the work was directed by the President himself. The real estate mogul, who is known for his attention to detail on construction projects, was personally involved with the renovation, including the selection of new wallpaper for his Oval Office.
Officials say performing repairs and renovations is easier when the President and most of his aides are away.
Here is the complete list of this year’s work, according to the White House:
The West Wing
- The restrooms on the ground floor and second floor of the West Wing have not been modernized in approximately 40 years. The planned infrastructure improvements will address safety concerns and will include durable materials and finishes.
- The West Wing elevator’s wood paneling will be replaced with federal standard, fire-rated paneling and new fixtures and lighting will be installed.
- The Navy Mess kitchen requires plumbing and drainage upgrades to address safety concerns and prevent additional water damage. The dining room requires repairs to wood paneling and faux walls due to cracking, chipping, and wear and tear. The ceiling, lighting, and cabinet doors will also be replaced.
The East Wing
- GSA will replace an air-handling unit in the East Wing. This will complete the modernization of the central air and heating capacity for the East Wing that began six years ago.
- The National Park Service will conduct cleaning, spot priming, and painting of the facades of the East Wing and East Terrace. This work is conducted routinely to preserve the exterior of the White House and maintain the appearance of the East Wing.
The Executive Residence
- The East Room ceiling is cracking, creating a safety concern for the First Family, staff, and visitors to the White House. The cracks will be repaired and the entire ceiling will be re-painted in order to preserve and maintain this historic room.
- The marble in the Executive Residence on the State Floor will be repaired and polished. Cracked marble will be repaired and re-grouted.
- The National Park Service will replace the five doors at the South Portico of the White House which are weathered from extensive use and rotting.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB)
- GSA will remove and replace the existing asphalt in the southeast carriageway and install heat tape to prevent ice accumulation during the winter. This is a high traffic area used by staff and visitors and the heat tape will make this area safer.
- The historic Navy Steps of the EEOB will be power washed and cleaned.
The White House Grounds
- The arbor in the Jackie Kennedy Garden is in need of structural repairs due to its age and rotting wood. The wood structure of the arbor will be removed and rebuilt with the existing columns.
- The current pavers below the Jackson Magnolia tree are cracked and have become a tripping hazard, causing safety concerns. The pavers will be removed, the ground underneath regraded, and the pavers reset to fix these safety concerns and to improve the appearance around this historic tree.
- The National Park Service will be repairing two windows on the north side of the mansion to address safety concerns, to remove the threat of water damage and bugs, and improve the overall appearance of the Executive Residence.