The Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West will be getting a new coat of paint courtesy of the state if the latest budget negotiations hold up.
House and Senate lawmakers appear to have settled on a $250,000 funding package for the renovation project.
The building in Key West served as the so-called “Winter White House” for former President Truman, who took over after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The location now operates as a museum.
Freshman Republican Rep. Jim Mooney put in the original funding request in late January (HB 2317). Mooney took over the House District 120 seat with a November win, succeeding former GOP Rep. Holly Raschein. The district encompasses Monroe County — which includes the Keys — as well as parts of southern Miami-Dade County.
“The requested funds will be used to restore the exterior of the Little White House,” Mooney explained in his original request.
That work includes efforts to “strip of years worth of paint, (which includes 72 sets of louvers) replace rotten boards, caulk the seams, replace weather stripping, replace lattice and reapply exterior paint.”
The Little White House was built in 1890 to house naval officers. Truman spent nearly 200 days there during his tenure in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
But other presidents have frequented the building as well, including Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
This isn’t the first time lawmakers have eyed repairs for the Little White House. With the building now serving as a tourist location, Mooney argues the upgrades will help preserve the Little White House as both a historic site and economic driver.
“The completion of these repairs will ensure that the Truman Little White House continues to be open to the public as a historic museum preserving a critical piece of presidential history in Florida,” Mooney said.
“Increased investment in the rehabilitation of this historic property will further highlight its significant as a historic house museum and cultural attraction.”
Budget negotiations remain ongoing, with lawmakers looking to wrap the 2021 Legislative Session by the end of next week.