by Gary Hibbs
I was looking on the internet while thinking about what we are going to be embarking on this month with the Town Center renovation and came upon this picture from May 1950 when Harry Truman was in office and the White House was going through a renovation. One characterization of the condition of the White House was the following:
Floors no longer merely creaked; they swayed. The president’s bathtub was sinking into the floor. A leg of Margaret’s piano broke through the floor in what is today the Private Dining Room. Engineers did a thorough examination and found plaster in a corner of the East Room sagging as much as 18 inches. Wooden beams had been weakened by cutting and drilling for plumbing and wiring over 150 years, and the addition of the steel roof and full third floor in 1927 added weight the building could no longer handle. They declared the whole house to be in imminent danger of collapse.
Thankfully, Town Center is not in this condition at all. But, we don’t even want to have the reputation of Riderwood “sinking” or “sagging” in any way! We want to keep our physical plant in top notch condition, and also make sure it fits with the programming and functions that evolve over time as desired by the residents of today and tomorrow. That’s why we’ve built into the design space more dining venue and choices, improved acoustics, an increase in the number of resident spaces while maintaining flexibility for the future and plans to refresh Celebration, the Music Room and the Crafts Room along with a new Media Lounge area among other things.
The dictionary defines renovation as working to “reinvigorate; refresh; revive”. We are very confident that we are about to do just that in a visible way starting this month in Town Center. It won’t be easy or convenient, but we’ll do the best we can to keep aggravation at a minimum! Inside this edition of the Reporter, RAC Information Officer Bette Martin gives the dates and the times of some forums where you’ll get the latest information and be able to ask questions and hear in more detail how we’ll be communicating the activity and progress as we proceed. We hope to see you there as we go through this journey together!