12 Stories

White House Is Getting a Big Upgrade

Workers are busy while president is away

(Newser) - While the president is away , the West Wing isn't exactly playing: It's undergoing a renovation so massive that all staffers not currently with President Trump in New Jersey have been evacuated to an adjacent office building, reports ABC News . Among items on the lengthy punchlist: Replacing the 27-year-old... More »

'No More Yellow': Inside the $3.4M West Wing Renovation

While Trump works from New Jersey, the White House gets a refresh

(Newser) - "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off," said Donald Trump in 2015, per NPR . And the White House insists that working is what he'll be doing during his 17-day vacation , which began Friday, at his... More »

Chick-fil-A Owner Pays Staff During 5-Month Remodel

Jeff Glover even gave his 50 employees raises for hanging around

(Newser) - A popular Chick-fil-A in northwest Austin reopened Wednesday after a five-month renovation that doubled its footprint, making it the largest in the Austin area at 5,700 square feet. But that isn't what's making headlines. Franchise owner Jeff Glover, who's run the restaurant for 15 years, has... More »

National Mall's $700M Plan: Skating, Theater, Gardens

'Overused' lawn set for major renovations

(Newser) - The National Mall is getting a serious facelift: Soon, we'll be going skating, watching outdoor theater, and exploring vibrant gardens in America's so-called "front yard." The $700 million project will mark a big change from the "overused" grass currently between the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol... More »

While US Dallies, France Spends Its Stimulus

(Newser) - France has a reputation for stifling bureaucracy and long vacations, but when it comes to stimulus spending, the country is racing ahead of the US. This summer, workers are completing massive renovation projects not just for roads and rails, but to museums and cathedrals, and royal palaces. According to the... More »

Met's New Look Lets the Light In

American Wing reopens tomorrow

(Newser) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its American Wing tomorrow after a refurbishment that was “all about transparency,” its chairman says. Where benches and shrubs once constricted movement, now visitors can sit on a fountain’s edge, look out on Central Park, and ride a glass elevator “... More »

Obamas Will Pick Up Tab for White House Renovations

First family turns down $100K in public cash

(Newser) - Barack and Michelle Obama won’t be using the $100,000 in taxpayer cash the first family is allotted for White House renovations, New York magazine reports. Instead, they’ll fund their fix-up out of their own pockets. Which may be a good political investment, since they’ve hired Michael... More »

Lincoln Center's Concert Hall Dazzles

Renovation at Lincoln Center slices open old building

(Newser) - While cities from LA to Copenhagen have unveiled stunning new concert halls in recent years, New York's Lincoln Center complex "seemed mired in indecision." But Alice Tully Hall, one of the center's smaller spaces, reopens to the public Sunday with a bold new design by the architects Diller... More »

Ousted Thain to Repay $1.2M Spent on Office

Lush renovation was a 'mistake,' says ex-Merrill CEO

(Newser) - Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain says he’ll repay the $1.2 million he spent on office renovations last year, Bloomberg reports. “The expenses were incurred over a year ago in a very different environment,” Thain wrote in a memo to Merrill execs. “They were a... More »

Friend of Stevens Bullied Contractor Into Eating $13K Bill

'Think of it as a political contribution,' pal said

(Newser) - An Alaska oil exec told a carpenter working on renovations to Sen. Ted Stevens home that he would have to “eat” a final $13,393 bill, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The carpenter, Augie Paone, took the stand in Stevens’ corruption trial today in Washington, telling the court that... More »

Alcatraz Garden Blooms Despite Years of Neglect

Once cared for by prisoners, plants still thrive on 'The Rock'

(Newser) - The hardened inmates on San Francisco’s Alcatraz Island had tough neighbors who endure to this day: sun-kissed geraniums, snapdragons, gazanias, and roses. Thanks to an ambitious restoration project, “The Rock” is blooming, the Sacramento Bee reports. After work began 5 years ago, gardeners discovered 145 plant varieties that... More »

UCLA Looks to Pretty Up Pauley

Famed arena may get small improvements or even a reconstruction

(Newser) - There is no question UCLA's Pauley Pavilion needs a makeover, but Bruin Nation is in an all-out debate as to whether it just needs some Botox or whether the old girl needs a complete facelift, reports the Los Angeles Times. Changes on the table for the famed Westwood Arena range... More »

12 Stories