1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.; Washington, D.C. Does that ring a bell? Yes, it is the official residence of the President of the USA.
For almost 200 years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
President Washington, together with the city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence in 1791. As preparations began for the new federal city, a competition was held to find a builder for the “President’s House.” Nine proposals were submitted, and Irish-born architect James Hoban won a gold medal for his practical and beautiful design.
Construction Of The White House
Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. After eight years of construction, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the unfinished house in 1800.
Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President’s private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public free of charge.
It survived a fire at the hands of the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, and another fire in the West Wing in 1929 while Herbert Hoover was President.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt began a major renovation of the White House, including the relocation of the president’s offices from the Second Floor of the Residence to the newly constructed temporary Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). Roosevelt’s successor, President William Howard Taft, had the Oval Office constructed within an enlarged office wing.
Less than 50 years after the Roosevelt renovation, the White House was showing signs of serious structural weakness. President Harry S. Truman began a renovation of the building in which everything but the outer walls was dismantled.
Here Are A Few Quick Facts About The White House!
- It has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels. There are also 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
- The White House kitchen can serve dinner to as many as 140 guests.
- The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.
- The history of this building extends far beyond the construction of its walls.
- From the Ground Floor Corridor rooms, transformed from their early use as service areas, to the State Floor rooms, where countless leaders and dignitaries have been entertained, the White House is both the home of the President of the United States and his family, and a museum of American history.
The White House is a place where history continues to unfold. Well, if you like this blog, let us know in the comments!