Richard Nixon

NixonAnd, it was Nixon who further enlarged the presidential hideaway and created an aura that Camp David and the White House were synonymous as he hid from public view by remaining at the heavily guarded Maryland mountainside retreat. as Watergate swirled around him.  Security was increased as the threats on the White House, Camp David and the President continued. According to camp personnel, “Richard Nixon changed the complexion and tone at Camp David.” At the same he wanted to assist what visitors were in the region.  To aid people in getting around better, the golf cart paths, previously used for walking, were paved for better cart transport. Because it was a classified site —and still is—the Appropriations Committee headed by George Mahon wanted to know about the changes proposed. Congress resisted some of the Nixon proposals. The Navy found the funds but there was still the mystery of why President Nixon wanted the change.  The problem was that the president wanted a specific spot for the pool he sought. Both he and Haldeman refused to budge.  “That’s what the president wants,” Haldeman insisted.  In addition to the expensive relocation to accommodate the pool, Nixon also wanted a larger meeting room for his cabinet meetings to be held at Camp David.  It was decided to upgrade Laurel, a smaller cabin, for an additional $700,000.  To spruce up the underground bomb shelter, which had an elevator right as you enter the main camp lodge, it would cost an additional $250,000 to enhance the bomb shelter itself.  New bedspreads, new covers, new chairs, repainting the president’s offices and adding new paintings were also planned. I was never able to obtain the itemized cost for the upgrade of the president’s office.