White house

Facts about White house

We found 17 facts about White house

World’s most powerful house

The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States of America, located in Washington, D.C. Designed by James Hoban in neoclassical architectural style, it symbolizes presidential power and democracy.

As a residence of the First Family and the country’s decision-making center, the White House is also a historic venue for diplomatic meetings and political events.

White house
It is the official residence and workplace of the President of the US.

It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

The White House has been the residence of every US president since John Adams (second US President, from 1797 to 1801), when the nation’s capital was moved in 1800 from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

Its construction began with cornerstone installation at noon on 13th October 1792.

The localization was chosen by President George Washington and urban planner Pierre L’Enfant. The building was designed by Irish American architect James Hoban in neoclassical style, who drew inspiration from Leinster House in Dublin–originally the palace of the Dukes of Leinster, now the house of the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas).

The construction went on for eight years, from 1792 to 1800.

The foundations and main residence were built mainly by slaves, free Afro-American workers, and Europeans on contract. Various parts were done by immigrants, many of whom have not yet obtained US citizenship, i.e. the sandstone walls were erected by immigrants from Scotland.

It is speculated that sandstone was imported from the Croatian island of Brač (from the same Pučišća quarry that supplied the material for the construction of the Diocletian’s Palace in Split). Some researchers claim, however, that it was used during renovation in 1902, and that the raw material from Aquia Creek from Stafford in Virginia was used for the original construction, as importing stone at that time would have been prohibitively expensive.

The cost of the eight-year construction was over $232 thousand (equivalent to $4 million in 2022).

The chief urban planner of the US capital, Washington, was French-American engineer Pierre “Peter” Charles L’Enfant.

The plan he prepared, intended as the permanent seat of the US government, specified, among other things, the location of two buildings–the “House of Congress” (United States Capitol), and “The President’s House.” The presidential residence was to have public gardens and monumental architecture. It was to be five times higher than the building constructed, becoming the tallest residence in the US.

L’Enfant’s plan was only partially executed due to the shortage of materials and labor.

The finished construction had only two main stories, instead of the planned three. The porous sandstone walls were whitewashed with a mixture of lime, rice glue, casein, and lead. This achieved the white color of the building that later gave it its name.

In the beginning, the building bore various names: Presidential Palace, Presidential Residence, or House of the President.

The earliest evidence of the public using the term “White House” comes from 1811. There were rumors that after Washington burned as a result of the British invasion of the US capital during the War of 1812, the building was painted with white paint to hide the damage caused by the fire.

In official contexts, the building was referred to as the “Executive Mansion” until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt (26th US President from 1901 to 1909) established by executive order the name “The White House” as the official name of the building.

The present-day wording and layout of the White House letterhead, with the word “Washington” in the middle, dates back to the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd US President from 1933 to 1945).

The first president, who resided in the White House, was John Adams.

He moved in on 1st November 1800. Soon after, he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, a fragment of which became a blessing, engraved on the mantelpiece in the State Dining Room during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It reads as follows:

“I Pray Heaven To Bestow The Best Of Blessings On This House And All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof.”

The British set fire to the White House in 1814, during the War of 1812.

The war was fought by the United States, along with its indigenous allies against Great Britain. The fires reached much of Washington and the White House. All that remained were the exterior walls, which had to be torn down and mostly rebuilt. The British ransacked the residence; only three items stolen were recovered. Among the stolen items was a copy of the iconic Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, painted in 1796 by Gilbert Stuart. It is a life-sized portrait of the 64-year-old President during his last year in office. It was gifted to former British Prime Minister William Petty, the first Marquis of Landsdowne. Stuart painted three copies and five portraits. His most famous has been hanging in the East Room of the White House since 1800.

To prevent the original portrait from being sold at auction, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington bought it for $20 million.

In 1961, the US Congress passed a law recognizing the White House as a museum.

No major architectural changes have been made to the White House since Truman’s restoration. Since Kennedy’s restoration, each presidential family has made some changes to the private rooms, but these modifications must be approved by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

It is responsible for maintaining the historic integrity of the White House. It works with each First Family, the White House Chief Usher, and the White House Chief of Staff.

Over 600 artifacts were brought to the White House during President Nixon’s administration (37th US President from 1969 to 1974).

This is the largest acquisition of any administration. First Lady Pat Nixon renovated the Green Room, the Blue Room, and the Red Room. The president created a state-of-the-art press conference room, and a single-lane bowling alley was created in the basement of the White House.

During President Carter’s administration (39th US President from 1977 to 1981) computers and the first laser printer were brought to the White House.

The use of computer technology was expanded during the administration of President Reagan (40th US President from 1981 to 1989). President Carter caused a set of solar panels to be installed on the rooftop of the White House to heat water, later removed during the Reagan presidency, and reinstalled in 2003 by the administration of George W. Bush (43rd US President from 2001 to 2009).

In 2013, President Barack Obama’s (44th US President from 2009 to 2017) administration installed a set of solar panels on the roof of the building, resulting in the first use of solar energy in the President’s living quarters.

The White House has become one of the first wheelchair-accessible government buildings in Washington.

The modifications were made during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used a wheelchair due to his paralysis. In the 1990s Hilary Clinton approved the addition of a ramp in the East Wing to facilitate wheelchair access during public tours and special events.

The seat of the US President forms the so-called White House complex.

It includes the central executive residence, on either side of which are the east and west wings. The east wing is a two-story building that serves as office space for the First Lady and her staff.

The west wing houses the offices of the president: Oval Office, Cabinet Room, Situation Room, and Roosevelt Room. The four floors of the West Wing house the offices of the Vice President, White House Chief of Staff, Presidential Advisor, Senior Advisor, Press Secretary, and support staff. The west wing is off-limits to visitors to the White House.

The family residence is located on the second floor. It includes the Yellow Oval Room, the East and West Hall, the White House Master Bedroom, the President’s Dining Room, the Treaty Room, the Lincoln Bedroom, and the Queen’s Bedroom, as well as two additional bedrooms, a smaller kitchen, and a dressing room.

The third floor consists of a solarium, game room, bedding room, and diet kitchen.

The White House covers an area of 5100 square meters.

It features 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, a tennis court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, which is officially called the Family Theater, a treadmill, a swimming pool, and a golf putting course. The White House receives 30.000 visitors every week.

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump designed and established the Rose Garden.

Michelle Obama established the White House’s first organic garden and installed beehives on the mansion’s south lawn.

Among the oldest trees on the grounds surrounding the White House are magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) planted by Andrew Jackson.

Among them is a Jackson magnolia, reportedly grown from a shoot taken from a favorite tree of Jackson’s recently deceased wife, planted after Jackson moved to the White House. The tree grew for more than 200 years, and when it proved too weak, it was replaced by one of its descendants.

The White House is protected by the Secret Service and the police.

Since 2005, NASAMS (surface-to-air missile system) units have been used to protect the President and the entire space around the White House.

Hungry for more facts?

Latest topics

42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
The first nuclear accident in Earth's history
Before information about it saw the light of day, the Soviets hid it for over 30 years. The explosion at the Mayak combine was the first nuclear accid ...
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
A city of many names
It was a dream and a matter of prestige for the Romanov dynasty to gain access to the Baltic Sea and build a metropolis to testify to Russia's emergin ...
32 facts about Peter the Great
32 facts about Peter the Great
The first Emperor of all Russia
Peter the Great is considered one of Russia's greatest rulers. He was a great reformer, strategist, and builder who was the first of the tsars to trav ...
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
Mysterious tragedy in the Ural mountains
The case of a group of students at the Ural Polytechnical Institute in Sverdlovsk continues to arouse great interest and raise many questions. A group ...
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
The first steel suspension bridge in the world
It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan, runs over the East River, and was completed in 1883. ...
31 facts about Brazil
31 facts about Brazil
South America's largest country
Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. A former Portuguese ...
44 facts about Ghent
44 facts about Ghent
City of three towers
Ghent is one of Belgium's most visited cities by tourists. This beautiful old Flanders city combines dignity, beauty, culture, and creativity. It is a ...
31 facts about Thailand
31 facts about Thailand
A country on the Indochinese Peninsula
Thailand is an Asian country located in its south-eastern part, famous for its interesting culture and religious architecture. This exotic country, wh ...

Similar topics