President-elect Donald Trump may not have the political background most United States presidents do before they're elected, but when he does finally relocate from Trump Tower in New York City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., he’ll be faced with a familiar task: renovating the Oval Office. And it could take a while.
While speaking with Fox News' "Happening Now" Wednesday, Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff for former President George W. Bush, said it may be a year before Trump can work from the Oval Office due to security renovations.
Rove alleged current President Barack Obama was initially supposed to direct the upgrades on the room in which most presidents operate during their tenure. However, Obama refused and decided to pass the job to his successor.
“President Obama could have told the Secret Service, ‘I know you want to modernize the Oval Office with security enhancements — literally strip it down to the bare walls and build it back up so we’ve got bulletproof glass and so forth and so on, security arrangements in it, in my last year in office,’ but instead he said, ‘Why don’t you do that [with] whoever comes next,’” Rove said in the clip surfaced by the New York Post.
While the Oval Office is getting its makeover, Trump will likely work out of former President Richard Nixon’s old office in the Old Executive Office Building at 1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, Rove said.
Changes in the Oval Office won’t be the only interior designing challenges the Trumps will face when they arrive in the White House. The new first lady, Melania Trump, and an interior designer of her choice will be tasked with redecorating the living areas within the White House located on the second and third floor, Kate Andersen Brower, author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” told ABC News.
Donald Trump is known for his love of over-the-top and extravagant décor. His Manhattan penthouse — located on Fifth Avenue in New York City — is decked out with crystal chandeliers, marble and gold floor-to-ceiling pillars, Greek vases, and paintings of scenes from Greek mythology.
However, Andersen Brower said, the new president won’t be able to just come into the White House “and tear down the walls.” Some areas of the 224-year-old mansion “are essentially historic rooms and belong to the American people, not the families who live there,” Andersen Brower added.
Despite all the discussion, Trump has said he doesn’t plan to make too many changes to the White House. During a 2015 interview with People magazine, he revealed he expected only to “maybe touch it up a little bit.”