The White House Situation Room got a makeover. Here’s how it looks now: NPR

The famous Situation Room was remodeled, including a board room where the president and his advisers sit and a command center where secure calls are coordinated.

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The famous Situation Room was remodeled, including a board room where the president and his advisers sit and a command center where secure calls are coordinated.

Handbook / The White House

In the bowels of the West lies a safe haven where former President Barack Obama sits with his top advisers and watches in real time as US special forces raid a compound in Pakistan and kill Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. 9/11 attacks on America.

This area is called the Situation Room, and in the past year, it has been remodeled and upgraded with more than $50 million in improvements to safety and capabilities, and is ready to reopen for operations.

Everything was torn from the conference room, the command center called the “watch floor” that supported it, and the smaller rooms around them. The reconstruction extends five feet below the space, said Mark Gustafson, senior director of the White House Situation Room.

It is the command center “monitoring platform” for the situation room from which secure feeds are integrated.

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It is the command center “monitoring platform” for the situation room from which secure feeds are integrated.

Handbook / The White House

Gustafson said many people haven’t seen the new space, but those who did get a glimpse said, “Wow, it looks like a movie now.”

Gustafsson led a group of reporters on a rare tour of the space before it reopened. They should leave their phones, smartwatches and fitness tracking devices outside.

Here’s what the atmosphere room looked like before

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are briefed on efforts to combat ransomware in the White House Situation Room on July 7, 2021.

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President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are briefed on efforts to combat ransomware in the White House Situation Room on July 7, 2021.

Handbook / The White House

There was space Last updated 15 years agoGeorge W. During the Bush administration, it showed its age from “significant wear and tear,” Gustafson said.

It now features a mahogany wood panel with flat-screen monitors that can securely connect any video feed or intelligence source the president and his team need. The room feels both modern and traditional, which was the goal. It’s “a tricky balance,” said Gustafsson, who helped coordinate the renovations.

Former President Barack Obama, then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials watch the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011.

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Former President Barack Obama, then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials watch the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011.

White House/Getty Images

Gone is the precise spot where Obama and his advisers sat, replaced by two small breakout rooms where top officials can make calls and prepare their thoughts ahead of a meeting with the president.

Artifacts from the space will be shared with the Obama Presidential Library, and a glass phone booth has been saved for a future Biden Presidential Library.

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