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The White House is the
official residence An official residence is the House, residence of nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senior figure. It may be the same place where they conduct their work ...
and workplace of the
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

president of the United States
. It is located at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue Pennsylvania Avenue is a diagonal street in Washington, D.C. and Prince George's County, Maryland that connects the White House and the United States Capitol and then crosses the city to Maryland. In Maryland it is also Maryland Route 4 (MD ...
NW in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
, and has been the residence of every U.S. president since
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a
metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of p ...
for the president and their advisers. The residence was designed by Irish-born architect
James Hoban James Hoban (1755 – December 8, 1831) was an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constitue ...
in the
neoclassical Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to: * Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, music, language, and architecture beginning in the 17th century ** Neoclassical architecture, an arc ...
style. Hoban modelled the building on
Leinster House Leinster House ( ga, Teach Laighean) is the seat of the Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of ...
in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, a building which today houses the
Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, count ...
, the Irish legislature. Construction took place between 1792 and 1800, using
Aquia Creek sandstone Aquia Creek sandstone is a type of brown to light-gray freestone used extensively in building construction in Washington, D.C. in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Quarried at Aquia Creek in Stafford County, Virginia Stafford County is lo ...
painted white. When
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect
Benjamin Henry Latrobe Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820) was a British-American Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical architect who emigrated to the United States. He was one of the first formally trained, professional architects in th ...

Benjamin Henry Latrobe
) added low
colonnade In classical architecture Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Ancient Roman architecture, Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even m ...

colonnade
s on each wing that concealed stables and storage. In 1814, during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, the mansion was set ablaze by the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
in the
Burning of Washington The Burning of Washington was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British invasion of Washington City (now Washington, D.C.), the capital of the United States, during the War of 1812#Chesapeake Campaign, Chesapeake Campaign of the Wa ...
, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
moved into the partially reconstructed
Executive Residence The Executive Residence is the central building of the White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., a ...
in October 1817. Exterior construction continued with the addition of the semi-circular South portico in 1824 and the North portico in 1829. Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed
West Wing The West Wing of the White House houses the offices of the president of the United States. The West Wing contains the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room (White House), Cabinet Room, the White House Situation Room, Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Ro ...

West Wing
in 1901. Eight years later, in 1909, President
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of ...

William Howard Taft
expanded the West Wing and created the first
Oval Office The Oval Office is the formal working office space of the president of the United States. It is located in the West Wing of the White House, in Washington, D.C., part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. The oval-shape ...

Oval Office
, which was eventually moved as the section was expanded. In the main mansion, the third-floor
attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft 's Near West Side A loft is a building's upper storey or elevated area in a room directly under the roof (American usage), or just an attic: a storage space under the roof usually accessed by a lad ...
was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing
hip roof in Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = C ...

hip roof
with long shed dormers. A newly constructed
East Wing The East Wing of the White House is a two-story structure that serves as office space for the First Lady of the United States, First Lady and her staff, including the White House Social Secretary, White House social secretary, White House Graphics ...
was used as a reception area for social events; Jefferson's colonnades connected the new wings. The East Wing alterations were completed in 1946, creating additional office space. By 1948, the residence's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under
Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry S. Truman
, the interior rooms were completely dismantled and a new internal load-bearing
steel frame Steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom ...
was constructed inside the walls. On the exterior, the
Truman Balcony 250px, The portico before construction of the balcony (photo c. 1910-1935) The Truman Balcony is the second-floor balcony of the Executive Residence of the White House, which overlooks the South Lawn (White House), South Lawn. It was completed in ...
was added. Once the structural work was completed, the interior rooms were rebuilt. The modern-day White House complex includes the Executive Residence, the West Wing, the East Wing, the
Eisenhower Executive Office Building The Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB)—formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) and even earlier as the State, War, and Navy Building—is a U.S. government building situated just west of the White House The ...

Eisenhower Executive Office Building
(the former State Department, which now houses offices for the president's staff and the vice president) and
Blair House Blair House, also known as The President's Guest House, is an official residence in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The President's Guest House has been called "the world's most exclusive hotel" because it is primarily used ...

Blair House
, a guest residence. The Executive Residence is made up of six stories: the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story
basement A basement or cellar is one or more Storey, floors of a building that are completely or partly below the storey, ground floor. It generally is used as a utility space for a building, where such items as the boiler, water heating, water heate ...
. The property is a
National Heritage Site A national heritage site is a heritage site having a value that has been registered by a governmental agency as being of national importance to the cultural heritage Cultural heritage is the legacy of cultural resources and intangible attribut ...
owned by the
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mecha ...
and is part of the
President's Park President's Park, located in Downtown Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall ...
. In 2007, it was ranked second on the
American Institute of Architects The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection w ...
list of "
America's Favorite Architecture"America's Favorite Architecture" is a list of buildings and other structures identified as the most popular works of architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted) ...
".


Early history


1789–1800

Following his April 1789 inauguration, President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
occupied two private houses in New York City as the executive mansion. He lived at the first, known as the Franklin House and owned by Treasury Commissioner
Samuel Osgood Samuel Osgood (February 5, 1747 – August 12, 1813) was an American merchant and statesman born in Andover, Massachusetts Andover is a New England town, town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was settled in 1642 and incorpo ...

Samuel Osgood
, at 3Cherry Street, through late February 1790. The executive mansion moved to the larger quarters of the
Alexander Macomb House The Alexander Macomb House (demolished) at 39–41 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City, served as the second U.S. Presidential Mansion. President George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American polit ...
at 39–41 Broadway where he stayed, with his wife and a small staff until August 1790. In May 1790, New York began construction of a "proper" house for the presidential mansion,
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
. Washington never used the mansion because it was not completed until after the national capital was moved to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...
, in December 1790. The July 1790
Residence Act The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States (), is a United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ...
designated the capital be permanently located in the new
Federal District A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include Capital districts and territori ...
, and temporarily in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...
, for ten years while the permanent capital was built. Philadelphia rented the mansion of the wealthy merchant
Robert MorrisRobert or Bob Morris may refer to: Politics * Robert Hunter Morris (1700–1764), Lieutenant Governor of Colonial Pennsylvania * Robert Morris (financier) (1734–1806), financier of the American Revolution and signatory to three of the United Stat ...
at 190 High Street (now 524–30 Market Street) as the President's House, which Washington occupied from November 1790 to March 1797. Since the house was too small to accommodate the thirty people who made up the presidential family, staff, and servants, Washington had it enlarged. President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
also occupied the High Street mansion from March 1797 to May 1800. On Saturday, November 1, 1800, he became the first president to occupy the White House. The President's House in Philadelphia was converted into the Union Hotel, and later used for stores, before being demolished in 1832. Philadelphia began construction of a much grander presidential mansion several blocks away in 1792. It was nearly completed by the time of Adam's 1797 inauguration. However, Adams declined to occupy it, saying he did not have Congressional authorization to lease the building. It remained vacant until it was sold to the
University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a in , Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia in 1740, is one of the nine chartered prior to the . , Penn's founder and first president, advocated an edu ...

University of Pennsylvania
in 1800. File:The First Presidential Mansion.jpg, First Presidential Mansion:
Samuel Osgood House The Samuel Osgood House (demolished in 1856), also known as the Walter Franklin House, was an eighteenth-century mansion at the northeast corner of what was Pearl and Cherry (today Dover) streets in what is now Civic Center, Manhattan Manh ...
, Manhattan, New York. Occupied by Washington: April 1789February 1790. File:New York Second Presidential Mansion.jpg, Second Presidential Mansion:
Alexander Macomb House The Alexander Macomb House (demolished) at 39–41 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City, served as the second U.S. Presidential Mansion. President George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American polit ...
, Manhattan, New York. Occupied by Washington: February–August 1790. File:PhiladelphiaPresidentsHouse.jpg, Third Presidential Mansion: President's House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Occupied by Washington: November 1790March 1797. Occupied by Adams: March 1797May 1800. File:The Government House, New York 1650665.jpg,
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
, Manhattan, New York (1790–1791). Built to be the permanent presidential mansion, Congress moved the national capital to Philadelphia before its completion. File:House intended for the President Birch's Views Plate 13.jpg, House intended for the President, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1790s). Built to be the permanent presidential mansion, it was not used by any president.


Architectural competition

The President's House was a major feature of
Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's
Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's
1791
plan A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an Goal, objective to do something. It is commonly understood as a modal logic, temporal set (mathematics), set of intended actions through wh ...

plan
for the newly established federal city of Washington, D.C. Washington and his Secretary of State,
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
, who both had personal interests in architecture, agreed that the design of the White House and the Capitol would be chosen in a
design competitionA design competition or design contest is a competition Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan ...
. Although all proposals for the Capital were rejected, an acceptable drawing for the White House submitted by
James Hoban James Hoban (1755 – December 8, 1831) was an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constitue ...
was selected from several including one submitted anonymously by Jefferson himself. Hoban was born in Ireland and trained at the Dublin Society of Arts. He emigrated to the US after the revolution, first seeking work in Philadelphia and later finding success in
South Carolina South Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspap ...

South Carolina
, where he designed several buildings, including the state capitol in
Columbia Columbia may refer to: * Columbia (personification), the historical female national personification of the United States, and a poetic name for the Americas Places North America Natural features * Columbia Plateau, a geologic and geographic regio ...
. Hoban ultimately supervised the construction of both the US Capitol and the White House. President Washington visited
Charleston, South Carolina Charleston is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, South Carolina, Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston metropolitan area, South Carolina, Charleston–North Charle ...

Charleston, South Carolina
, in May 1791 on his "Southern Tour", and saw the under-construction Charleston County Courthouse designed by Hoban. He is reputed to have met with Hoban then. The following year, he summoned the architect to Philadelphia and met with him in June 1792. On July 16, 1792, the president met with the commissioners of the federal city to make his judgment in the architectural competition. His review is recorded as being brief, and he quickly selected Hoban's submission.


Design influences

The building has classical inspiration sources that can be found in the styles of the Roman architect
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') i ...

Vitruvius
and the Venetian architect
Andrea Palladio Andrea Palladio ( , ; 30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and t ...

Andrea Palladio
; Palladio being an Italian architect of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
whose style evolved into
Palladian architecture Palladian architecture is a European architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual a ...
, which became popular in North America in the 18th century. Hoban's design is influenced by the upper floors of
Leinster House Leinster House ( ga, Teach Laighean) is the seat of the Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of ...
, in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, which later became the seat of the
Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, count ...
(the Irish parliament). Several other Georgian-era Irish country houses have been suggested as sources of inspiration for the overall floor plan, details like the bow-fronted south front, and interior details like the former niches in the present Blue Room. These influences, though undocumented, are cited in the official White House guide, and in
White House Historical Association The White House Blue Room refurbished in 1995 with contributions from the White House Historical Association's White House Endowment Trust. The White House Historical Association, founded in 1961 through efforts of First Lady Jacqueline Kenned ...
publications. The first official White House guide, published in 1962, suggested a link between Hoban's design for the South Portico and
Château de Rastignac
Château de Rastignac
, a neoclassical country house located in La Bachellerie in the
Dordogne Dordogne ( , or ; ; oc, Dordonha ) is a large rural department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivi ...

Dordogne
region of France and designed by Mathurin Salat. Construction on the French house was initially started before 1789, interrupted by the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
for twenty years, and then finally built between 1812 and 1817 (based on Salat's pre-1789 design). The theoretical link between the two houses has been criticized because Hoban did not visit France. Supporters of the connection posit that
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
, during his tour of
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon language, Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne in the Gironde Departments of France, department in Southwestern France. The municipality (Communes of France, commune) of Bordeaux proper has a popula ...

Bordeaux
in 1789, viewed Salat's architectural drawings (which were on-file at the college) at the École Spéciale d'Architecture (Bordeaux Architectural College). On his return to the US he then shared the influence with Washington, Hoban, Monroe, and
Benjamin Henry Latrobe Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820) was a British-American Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical architect who emigrated to the United States. He was one of the first formally trained, professional architects in th ...

Benjamin Henry Latrobe
.


Construction

Though there is no record of a formal ceremony, construction of the White House began at noon on October 13, 1792, with the laying of the cornerstone. The main residence, as well as the foundations of the house, were built largely by
enslaved Enslaved may refer to: * Slavery, the socio-economic condition of being owned and worked by and for someone else * Enslaved (band), a progressive black metal band from Haugesund, Norway * "Enslaved", a song by Mötley Crüe on their ''Greatest Hits ...
and free
African-American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being t ...
laborers, as well as employed Europeans. Much of the other work on the house was done by immigrants, many of them without citizenship yet. The sandstone walls were erected by
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...

Scottish
immigrants, employed by Hoban, as were the high-relief rose and garland decorations above the north entrance and the "fish scale" pattern beneath the pediments of the window hoods. There are conflicting claims as to where the sandstone used in the construction of the White House originated. Some reports suggest sandstone from the Croatian island of
Brač Brač (; local Chakavian: ''Broč'', ; la, Bretia, ; it, Brazza) is an island in the Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the from the . The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the , extending from the (where it ...

Brač
(specifically the
Pučišća
Pučišća
quarry whose stone was used to build the ancient
Diocletian's Palace Diocletian's Palace ( hr, Dioklecijanova palača, ) is an ancient palace built for the Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν ...

Diocletian's Palace
in
Split Split(s) or The Split may refer to: Places * Split, Croatia, the largest coastal city in Croatia * Split Island, Canada, an island in the Hudson Bay * Split Island, Falkland Islands * Split Island, Fiji, better known as Hạfliua Arts, entertainm ...
) was used in the original construction of the building. However, researchers believe limestone from the island was used in the 1902 renovations and not the original construction. Others suggest the original sandstone simply came from
Aquia Creek Aquia Creek () is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map, accessed August 15, 2011 tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem ...
in Stafford County,
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
, as importing the stone would be too costly. The initial construction took place over a period of eight years, at a reported cost of $232,371.83 (). Although not yet completed, the White House was ready for occupancy circa November 1, 1800. Shortages of material and labor forced alterations to the earlier plan developed by French engineer
Pierre Charles L'Enfant Pierre Charles L'Enfant (; August 2, 1754June 14, 1825), self-identified as Peter Charles L'Enfant while living in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a c ...

Pierre Charles L'Enfant
for a "palace" that was five times larger than the house that was eventually built. The finished structure contained only two main floors instead of the planned three, and a less costly brick served as a lining for the stone façades. When construction was finished, the porous sandstone walls were
whitewash Three different brands of kalsomine Whitewash, or calcimine, kalsomine, calsomine, or lime paint is a type of paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin ...
ed with a mixture of lime, rice glue, casein, and lead, giving the house its familiar color and name.


Architectural description

The north front is the principal façade of the White House and consists of three floors and eleven bays. The ground floor is hidden by a raised carriage ramp and
parapet A parapet is a barrier that is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof A roof is the top covering of a , including all materials and constructions necessary to support it on the walls of the building or on uprights, providing protecti ...
, thus the façade appears to be on two floors. The central three bays are behind a prostyle portico (this was a later addition to the house, built circa 1830), serving, thanks to the carriage ramp, as a
porte cochere Porte may refer to: *Sublime Porte , was known as the Sublime Porte until the 18th century. Image:DSC04009 Istanbul - La Sublime Porta - Foto G. Dall'Orto 25-5-2006.jpg, 300px, The later Sublime Porte proper in 2006 The Sublime Porte, also known ...
. The windows of the four bays flanking the portico, at first-floor level, have alternating pointed and segmented
pediment Pediments are gablesGables may refer to: * The plural of gable, portion of walls between the lines of sloping roofs * Ken Gables (1919-1960), Major League Baseball pitcher * Gables, Nebraska, an unincorporated community in the United States * Ga ...

pediment
s, while at second-floor level, the pediments are flat. The principal entrance at the center of the portico is surmounted by a
lunette A lunette (French ''lunette'', "little moon") is a half-moon shaped architectural upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (a ...

lunette
fanlight A fanlight is a form of lunette window, often semicircular or semi-elliptical in shape, with glazing (window), glazing bars or tracery sets radiating out like an open Hand fan, fan. It is placed over another window or a doorway, and is sometimes ...
. Above the entrance is a sculpted floral
festoon A festoon (from French ''feston'', Italian ''festone'', from a Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...

festoon
. The roofline is hidden by a balustraded
parapet A parapet is a barrier that is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof A roof is the top covering of a , including all materials and constructions necessary to support it on the walls of the building or on uprights, providing protecti ...
. The mansion's southern façade is a combination of the
Palladian Palladian architecture is a European architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of Style (visual arts), ...
and neoclassical styles of architecture. It consists of three floors, all visible. The ground floor is rusticated in the Palladian fashion. At the center of the façade is a neoclassical projected bow of three bays. The bow is flanked by five bays, the windows of which, as on the north façade, have alternating segmented and pointed pediments at first-floor level. The bow has a ground-floor double staircase leading to an
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...

Ionic
colonnade In classical architecture Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Ancient Roman architecture, Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even m ...

colonnade
d
loggia A loggia ( , usually , ) is an feature which is a covered exterior or corridor usually on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements, usually supported by a series of s or es. They can be on principa ...

loggia
(with the
Truman Balcony 250px, The portico before construction of the balcony (photo c. 1910-1935) The Truman Balcony is the second-floor balcony of the Executive Residence of the White House, which overlooks the South Lawn (White House), South Lawn. It was completed in ...
at second-floor level), known as the south portico. The more modern third floor is hidden by a balustraded parapet and plays no part in the composition of the façade.


Naming conventions

The building was originally variously referred to as the President's Palace, Presidential Mansion, or President's House. The earliest evidence of the public calling it the "White House" was recorded in 1811. A myth emerged that during the rebuilding of the structure after the
Burning of Washington The Burning of Washington was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British invasion of Washington City (now Washington, D.C.), the capital of the United States, during the War of 1812#Chesapeake Campaign, Chesapeake Campaign of the Wa ...
, white paint was applied to mask the burn damage it had suffered, giving the building its namesake hue. The name "Executive Mansion" was used in official contexts until President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
established the formal name by having "White House–Washington" engraved on the stationery in 1901. The current letterhead wording and arrangement of "The White House" with the word "Washington" centered beneath it dates to the administration of
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
. Although the structure was not completed until some years after the presidency of George Washington, there is speculation that the name of the traditional residence of the president of the United States may have been derived from
Martha Washington Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731 — May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington served as the inaugural fi ...

Martha Washington
's home, White House Plantation, in Virginia, where the nation's first president courted the first lady in the mid-18th century.


Evolution of the White House


Early use, the 1814 fire, and rebuilding

On Saturday, November 1, 1800,
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
became the first president to take residence in the building. The next day he wrote his wife Abigail: "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." President
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
had Adams's blessing carved into the mantel in the State Dining Room. Adams lived in the house only briefly before
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
moved into the "pleasant country residence" in 1801. Despite his complaints that the house was too big ("big enough for two emperors, one pope, and the grand lama in the bargain"), Jefferson considered how the White House might be added to. With
Benjamin Henry Latrobe Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820) was a British-American Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical architect who emigrated to the United States. He was one of the first formally trained, professional architects in th ...

Benjamin Henry Latrobe
, he helped lay out the design for the East and West Colonnades, small wings that help conceal the domestic operations of laundry, a stable and storage. Today, Jefferson's colonnades link the residence with the East and West Wings. In 1814, during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, the White House was set ablaze by British troops during the
Burning of Washington The Burning of Washington was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British invasion of Washington City (now Washington, D.C.), the capital of the United States, during the War of 1812#Chesapeake Campaign, Chesapeake Campaign of the Wa ...
, in retaliation for attacking and burning
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
(then called York),
Port Dover Port Dover is an unincorporated community and former town located in Norfolk County, Ontario, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, on the north shore of Lake Erie. It is the site of the recurring Friday the 13th motorcycle rally. Prior to the War of ...
and other towns in
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
; much of Washington was affected by these fires as well. Only the exterior walls remained, and they had to be torn down and mostly reconstructed because of weakening from the fire and subsequent exposure to the elements, except for portions of the south wall. Of the numerous objects taken from the White House when it was ransacked by British troops, only three have been recovered. Employees and slaves rescued a painting of George Washington,, in 1939, a Canadian man returned a jewelry box to President Franklin Roosevelt, claiming that his grandfather had taken it from Washington, and, also in 1939, a medicine chest that had belonged to President Madison was returned by the descendants of a British naval officer. Some observers allege that most of these spoils were lost when a convoy of British ships led by HMS Fantome (1810), HMS ''Fantome'' sank en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Halifax off Prospect, Nova Scotia, Prospect during a storm on the night of November 24, 1814, even though ''Fantome'' had no involvement in that action. After the fire, President James Madison resided in The Octagon House (Washington, D.C.), the Octagon House from 1814 to 1815, and then in the Seven Buildings from 1815 to the end of his term. Meanwhile, both Hoban and Latrobe contributed to the design and oversight of the reconstruction, which lasted from 1815 until 1817. The south portico was constructed in 1824 during the
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
administration; the north portico was built six years later. Though Latrobe proposed similar porticos before the fire in 1814, both porticos were built as designed by Hoban. An elliptical portico at
Château de Rastignac
Château de Rastignac
in La Bachellerie, France, with nearly identical curved stairs, is speculated as the source of inspiration due to its similarity with the South Portico, although this matter is one of great debate. Italian artisans, brought to Washington to help in constructing the United States Capitol, U.S. Capitol, carved the decorative stonework on both porticos. Contrary to speculation, the North Portico was not modeled on a similar portico on another Dublin building, the Áras an Uachtaráin, Viceregal Lodge (now ''Áras an Uachtaráin'', residence of the president of Ireland), for its portico postdates the White House porticos' design. For the North Portico, a variation on the Ionic Order was devised, incorporating a swag of roses between the volutes. This was done to link the new portico with the earlier carved roses above the entrance. File:The President's House by George Munger, 1814-1815 - Crop.jpg, The White House as it looked following the fire of August 24, 1814 File:White-House.jpg, Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson and Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Latrobe's West Wing Colonnade, in this nineteenth-century engraved view, is now the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. File:Latrobe White House cropa2.jpg, Principal story plan for the White House by
Benjamin Henry Latrobe Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820) was a British-American Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical architect who emigrated to the United States. He was one of the first formally trained, professional architects in th ...

Benjamin Henry Latrobe
, 1807 File:White House 1846.jpg, Earliest known photograph of the White House, taken c. 1846 by John Plumbe during the administration of James K. Polk


Overcrowding and building the West Wing

By the time of the American Civil War, the White House had become overcrowded. The location of the White House, just north of a canal and swampy lands, which provided conditions ripe for malaria and other unhealthy conditions, was questioned. Brigadier General Nathaniel Michler was tasked with proposing solutions to address these concerns. He proposed abandoning the use of the White House as a residence, and he designed a new estate for the first family at Meridian Hill Park, Meridian Hill in Washington, D.C. Congress, however, rejected the plan. Another option was Metropolis View, which is now the campus of Catholic University of America, The Catholic University of America. When Chester A. Arthur took office in 1881, he ordered renovations to the White House to take place as soon as the recently widowed Lucretia Garfield moved out. Arthur inspected the work almost nightly and made several suggestions. Louis Comfort Tiffany was asked to send selected designers to assist. Over twenty wagonloads of furniture and household items were removed from the building and sold at a public auction. All that was saved were bust portraits of
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
and Martin Van Buren. A proposal was made to build a new residence south of the White House, but it failed to gain support. In the fall of 1882, work was done on the main corridor, including tinting the walls pale olive and adding squares of gold leaf, and decorating the ceiling in gold and silver, with colorful Tracery, traceries woven to spell "USA." The Red Room was painted a dull Pomeranian red, and its ceiling was decorated with gold, silver, and copper stars and stripes of red, white, and blue. A fifty-foot jeweled Tiffany glass screen, supported by imitation marble columns, replaced the glass doors that separated the main corridor from the north vestibule. In 1891, First Lady Caroline Harrison proposed major extensions to the White House, including a National Wing on the east for a historical art gallery, and a wing on the west for official functions. A plan was devised by Colonel Theodore A. Bingham that reflected the Harrison proposal. These plans were ultimately rejected. However, in 1902,
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
hired McKim, Mead & White to carry out expansions and renovations in a neoclassical style suited to the building's architecture, removing the Tiffany screen and all Victorian additions. Charles Follen McKim, Charles McKim himself designed and managed the project, which gave more living space to the president's large family by removing a staircase in the West Hall and moving executive office staff from the second floor of the residence into the new West Wing. President
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of ...

William Howard Taft
enlisted the help of architect Nathan C. Wyeth to add additional space to the West Wing, which included the addition of the
Oval Office The Oval Office is the formal working office space of the president of the United States. It is located in the West Wing of the White House, in Washington, D.C., part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. The oval-shape ...

Oval Office
. In 1925, Congress enacted legislation allowing the White House to accept gifts of furniture and art for the first time. The West Wing was damaged by fire on Christmas Eve 1929; Herbert Hoover and his aides moved back into it on April 14, 1930. In the 1930s, a second story was added, as well as a larger basement for White House staff, and President Franklin Roosevelt had the Oval Office moved to its present location: adjacent to the White House Rose Garden, Rose Garden.


Truman reconstruction

Decades of poor maintenance, the construction of a fourth-story attic during the Coolidge administration, and the addition of a second-floor balcony over the south portico for
Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry S. Truman
took a great toll on the brick and sandstone structure built around a timber frame. By 1948, the house was declared to be in imminent danger of collapse, forcing President Truman to commission a reconstruction and to live across the street at
Blair House Blair House, also known as The President's Guest House, is an official residence in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The President's Guest House has been called "the world's most exclusive hotel" because it is primarily used ...

Blair House
from 1949 to 1951. The work, done by the firm of Philadelphia contractor John McShain, required the complete dismantling of the interior spaces, construction of a new load-bearing internal steel frame, and the reconstruction of the original rooms within the new structure. The total cost of the renovations was about $5.7million ($ million in ). Some modifications to the floor plan were made, the largest being the repositioning of the grand staircase to open into the Entrance Hall, rather than the Cross Hall. Central air conditioning was added, as well as two additional sub-basements providing space for workrooms, storage, and a bomb shelter. The Trumans moved back into the White House on March 27, 1952. While the Truman reconstruction preserved the house's structure, much of the new interior finishes were generic and of little historic significance. Much of the original plasterwork, some dating back to the 1814–1816 rebuilding, was too damaged to reinstall, as was the original robust Beaux Arts paneling in the East Room. President Truman had the original timber frame sawed into paneling; the walls of the Vermeil Room, Library (White House), Library, China Room, and Map Room (White House), Map Room on the ground floor of the main residence were paneled in wood from the timbers.


Jacqueline Kennedy restoration

Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy (1961–63), directed a very extensive and historic redecoration of the house. She enlisted the help of Henry Francis du Pont of the Winterthur Museum to assist in collecting artifacts for the mansion, many of which had once been housed there. Other antiques, fine paintings, and improvements from the Kennedy period were donated to the White House by wealthy philanthropists, including the Crowninshield family, Jane Engelhard, Jayne Wrightsman, and the Oppenheimer family. Stéphane Boudin of the Maison Jansen, House of Jansen, a Paris interior-design firm that had been recognized worldwide, was employed by Jacqueline Kennedy to assist with the decoration. Different periods of the early republic and world history were selected as a theme for each room: the Federal style for the Green Room (White House), Green Room, French Empire for the Blue Room, American Empire for the Red Room (White House), Red Room, Louis XVI for the Yellow Oval Room, and Victorian for the president's study, renamed the Treaty Room. Antique furniture was acquired, and decorative fabric and trim based on period documents was produced and installed. The Kennedy restoration resulted in a more authentic White House of grander stature, which recalled the French taste of Madison and Monroe. In the Diplomatic Reception Room (White House), Diplomatic Reception Room, Mrs. Kennedy installed an antique "Vue de l'Amérique Nord" wallpaper which Zuber & Cie had designed in 1834. The wallpaper had hung previously on the walls of another mansion until 1961 when that house was demolished for a grocery store. Just before the demolition, the wallpaper was salvaged and sold to the White House. The first White House guidebook was produced under the direction of curator Lorraine Waxman Pearce with direct supervision from Mrs. Kennedy. Sales of the guidebook helped finance the restoration. In a A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy, televised tour of the house on Valentine's Day in 1962, Kennedy showed her restoration of the White House to the public.


The White House since the Kennedy restoration

Congress enacted legislation in September 1961 declaring the White House a museum. Furniture, fixtures, and decorative arts could now be declared either historic or of artistic interest by the president. This prevented them from being sold (as many objects in the executive mansion had been in the past 150 years). When not in use or display at the White House, these items were to be turned over to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation, study, storage, or exhibition. The White House retains the right to have these items returned. Out of respect for the historic character of the White House, no substantive architectural changes have been made to the house since the Truman renovation. Since the Kennedy restoration, every presidential family has made some changes to the private quarters of the White House, but the Committee for the Preservation of the White House must approve any modifications to the State Rooms. Charged with maintaining the historical integrity of the White House, the congressionally-authorized committee works with each First Familyusually represented by the first lady, the White House Office of the Curator, White House curator, and the White House Chief Usher, chief usherto implement the family's proposals for altering the house. During the Nixon Administration (1969–1974), First Lady Pat Nixon refurbished the Green Room, Blue Room, and Red Room, working with Clement Conger, the curator appointed by President Richard Nixon. Mrs. Nixon's efforts brought more than 600 artifacts to the house, the largest acquisition by any administration. Her husband created the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, modern press briefing room over Franklin Roosevelt's old swimming pool. Nixon also added a single-lane bowling alley to the White House basement. Computers and the first laser printer were added during the Carter administration, and the use of computer technology was expanded during the Reagan administration. A Carter-era innovation, a set of solar heating, solar water heating panels that were mounted on the roof of the White House, was removed during Reagan's presidency. Redecorations were made to the private family quarters and maintenance was made to public areas during the Reagan years. The house was accredited as a museum in 1988. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton, Bill and Hillary Clinton refurbished some rooms with the assistance of Arkansas decorator Kaki Hockersmith, including the Oval Office, the East Room, Blue Room, State Dining Room of the White House, State Dining Room, Lincoln Bedroom, and Lincoln Sitting Room. During the administration of George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush refurbished the Lincoln Bedroom in a style contemporary with the Lincoln era; the Green Room, Cabinet Room (White House), Cabinet Room, and theater were also refurbished. The White House became one of the first wheelchair-accessible government buildings in Washington when modifications were made during the presidency of
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
, who used a wheelchair because of Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness, his paralytic illness. In the 1990s, Hillary Clinton, at the suggestion of Visitors Office Director Melinda N. Bates, approved the addition of a ramp in the East Wing corridor. It allowed easy wheelchair access for the public tours and special events that enter through the secure entrance building on the east side. In 2003, the Bush administration reinstalled solar thermal heaters. These units are used to heat water for landscape maintenance personnel and for the White House swimming pool, presidential pool and spa. One hundred sixty-seven solar photovoltaic grid-tied panels were installed at the same time on the roof of the maintenance facility. The changes were not publicized as a White House spokeswoman said the changes were an internal matter. The story was picked up by industry trade journals. In 2013, President Barack Obama had a set of solar panels installed on the roof of the White House, making it the first time solar power would be used for the president's living quarters.


Layout and amenities

Today the group of buildings housing the presidency is known as the White House Complex. It includes the central
Executive Residence The Executive Residence is the central building of the White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., a ...
flanked by the
East Wing The East Wing of the White House is a two-story structure that serves as office space for the First Lady of the United States, First Lady and her staff, including the White House Social Secretary, White House social secretary, White House Graphics ...
and
West Wing The West Wing of the White House houses the offices of the president of the United States. The West Wing contains the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room (White House), Cabinet Room, the White House Situation Room, Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Ro ...

West Wing
. The White House Chief Usher, Chief Usher coordinates day to day household operations. The White House includes six stories and 55,000 square feet (5,100 m2) of floor space, 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, twenty-eight fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, five full-time chefs, White House tennis court, a tennis court, a (single-lane) bowling alley, a movie theater (officially called the White House Family Theater), a jogging track, White House swimming pool, a swimming pool, and a putting green. It receives up to 30,000 visitors each week.


Executive Residence

The original residence is in the center. Two
colonnade In classical architecture Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Ancient Roman architecture, Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even m ...

colonnade
sone on the east and one on the westdesigned by Jefferson, now serve to connect the East and West Wings added later. The
Executive Residence The Executive Residence is the central building of the White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., a ...
houses the president's dwelling, as well as rooms for ceremonies and official entertaining. The State Floor of the residence building includes the East Room, Green Room (White House), Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room (White House), Red Room, State Dining Room, Family Dining Room, Cross Hall, Entrance Hall, and Grand Staircase (White House), Grand Staircase. The Ground Floor is made up of the Diplomatic Reception Room, Map Room (White House), Map Room, China Room, Vermeil Room, White House Library, Library, the main kitchen, and other offices. The second floor family residence includes the Yellow Oval Room, East Sitting Hall, East and West Sitting Halls, the White House Master Bedroom, President's Dining Room, the Treaty Room, Lincoln Bedroom and Queens' Bedroom, as well as two additional bedrooms, a smaller kitchen, and a private dressing room. The third floor consists of the White House Solarium, Game Room, Linen Room, a Diet Kitchen, and another sitting room (previously used as President George W. Bush's workout room).


West Wing

The West Wing houses the president's office (the
Oval Office The Oval Office is the formal working office space of the president of the United States. It is located in the West Wing of the White House, in Washington, D.C., part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. The oval-shape ...

Oval Office
) and offices of his senior staff, with room for about 50 employees. It also includes the Cabinet Room (White House), Cabinet Room, where the president conducts business meetings and where the Cabinet of the United States, Cabinet meets, as well as the White House Situation Room, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, and Roosevelt Room. In 2007, work was completed on renovations of the press briefing room, adding Optical fiber, fiber optic cables and LCD screens for the display of charts and graphs. The makeover took 11 months and cost of $8million, out of which news outlets paid $2million. In September 2010, White House Big Dig, a two-year project began on the West Wing, creating a multistory underground structure. Some members of the president's staff are located in the adjacent
Eisenhower Executive Office Building The Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB)—formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) and even earlier as the State, War, and Navy Building—is a U.S. government building situated just west of the White House The ...

Eisenhower Executive Office Building
, which was, until 1999, called the Old Executive Office Building and was historically the State War and Navy building. The Oval Office, Roosevelt Room, and other portions of the West Wing were partially replicated on a sound stage and used as the Setting (narrative), setting for ''The West Wing (TV series), The West Wing'' television show.


East Wing

The East Wing, which contains additional office space, was added to the White House in 1942. Among its uses, the East Wing has intermittently housed the offices and staff of the First Lady of the United States, first lady and the White House Social Office. Rosalynn Carter, in 1977, was the first to place her personal office in the East Wing and to formally call it the "Office of the First Lady". The East Wing was built during World War II in order to hide the construction of an underground bunker to be used in emergencies. The bunker has come to be known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.


Grounds

The White House and grounds cover just over 18 acres (about 7.3 hectares). Before the construction of the North Portico, most public events were entered from the South Lawn (White House), South Lawn, the grading and planting of which was ordered by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson also drafted a planting plan for the North Lawn (White House), North Lawn that included large trees that would have mostly obscured the house from Pennsylvania Avenue. During the mid-to-late 19th century a series of ever larger greenhouses were built on the west side of the house, where the current West Wing is located. During this period, the North Lawn was planted with ornate carpet-style flowerbeds. The general layout of the White House grounds today is based on the 1935 design by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. of the Olmsted Brothers firm, commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the Kennedy administration, the White House Rose Garden was redesigned by Rachel Lambert Mellon. The Rose Garden borders the West Colonnade. Bordering the East Colonnade is the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, which was begun by Jacqueline Kennedy but completed after her husband's assassination. On the weekend of June 23, 2006, a century-old American Elm, American Elm (''Ulmus americana'' L.) tree on the north side of the building came down during one of the many storms amid Mid-Atlantic United States flood of 2006, intense flooding. Among the oldest trees on the grounds are several magnolias (''Magnolia grandiflora'') planted by Andrew Jackson, including the Jackson Magnolia, reportedly grown from a sprout taken from the favorite tree of Jackson's recently deceased wife, the sprout planted after Jackson moved into the White House. The tree stood for over 200 years; but in 2017, having become too weak to stand on its own, it was decided it should be removed and replaced with one of its offspring. Michelle Obama planted the White House's first organic garden and installed beehives on the South Lawn of the White House, which will supply organic produce and honey to the First Family and for state dinners and other official gatherings. In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump redesigned the Rose Garden. File:White-house-floor1-cross-Hall.jpg, The Cross Hall, connecting the State Dining Room and the East Room on the State Floor File:WhSouthLawn.JPEG, Marine One prepares to land on the South Lawn, where State Arrival Ceremony, State Arrival Ceremonies are held. File:White House, Blue Sky.jpg, View from the south, with south fountain File:1122-WAS-The White House.JPG, View from the north, with north fountain File:The White House at night, 2011.jpg, White House at night, view from the north


Public access and security


Historical accessibility

Like the English and Irish country houses it was modeled on, the White House was, from the start, open to the public until the early part of the 20th century. President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
held an open house for his second inaugural in 1805, and many of the people at his swearing-in ceremony at the United States Capitol, Capitol followed him home, where he greeted them in the Blue Room. Those open houses sometimes became rowdy: in 1829, President Andrew Jackson had to leave for a hotel when roughly 20,000 citizens celebrated his inauguration inside the White House. His aides ultimately had to lure the mob outside with washtubs filled with a potent cocktail of orange juice and whiskey. Even so, the practice continued until 1885, when newly elected Grover Cleveland arranged for a presidential review of the troops from a grandstand in front of the White House instead of the traditional open house. Inspired by Washington's open houses in New York and Philadelphia, John Adams began the tradition of the White House New Year's Reception. Jefferson also permitted public tours of his house, which have continued ever since, except during wartime, and began the tradition of an annual reception on the Fourth of July. Those receptions ended in the early 1930s, although President Bill Clinton briefly revived the New Year's Day open house in his first term.


Aviation incidents

In February 1974, a stolen army helicopter 1974 White House helicopter incident, landed without authorization on the White House's grounds. Twenty years later, in 1994, a light plane flown by Frank Eugene Corder crashed on the White House grounds, and he died instantly. As a result of increased security regarding air traffic in the capital, the White House was evacuated in May 2005 before an unauthorized aircraft could approach the grounds.


Closure of Pennsylvania Avenue

On May 20, 1995, primarily as a response to the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995, the United States Secret Service closed off Pennsylvania Avenue to vehicular traffic in front of the White House from the eastern edge of Lafayette Park to 17th Street. Later, the closure was extended an additional block to the east to 15th Street, and East Executive Avenue, a small street between the White House and the Treasury Building (Washington, D.C.), Treasury Building. After September 11 attacks, September 11, 2001, this change was made permanent, in addition to closing E Street between the South Portico of the White House and the Ellipse. In response to the Boston Marathon bombing, the road was closed to the public in its entirety for a period of two days. The Pennsylvania Avenue closure has been opposed by organized civic groups in Washington, D.C. They argue that the closing impedes traffic flow unnecessarily and is inconsistent with the well-conceived historic plan for the city. As for security considerations, they note that the White House is set much farther back from the street than numerous other sensitive federal buildings are. Prior to its inclusion within the fenced compound that now includes the Old Executive Office Building to the west and the Treasury Building to the east, this sidewalk served as a queuing area for the daily public tours of the White House. These tours were suspended in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In September 2003, they resumed on a limited basis for groups making prior arrangements through their Congressional representatives or embassies in Washington for foreign nationals and submitting to background checks, but the White House remained closed to the public. Due to budget constraints, White House tours were suspended for most of 2013 due to United States budget sequestration in 2013, sequestration. The White House reopened to the public in November 2013.


Protection

The White House Complex is protected by the United States Secret Service and the United States Park Police. During the 2005 presidential inauguration, NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) units were used to patrol the airspace over Washington, D.C. The same units have since been used to protect the president and all airspace around the White House, which is strictly prohibited to aircraft.


See also

* Art in the White House * Camp David * Pedro Casanave * Germantown White House * Graphics and Calligraphy Office * List of largest houses in the United States * List of National Historic Landmarks in Washington, D.C. * List of residences of presidents of the United States * Number One Observatory Circle, residence of the vice president * Reportedly haunted locations in the District of Columbia#White House, Reported White House ghosts * White House Acquisition Trust * White House Chief Calligrapher * White House Chief Floral Designer * White House Christmas tree * White House Communications Agency * White House Endowment Trust * White House Executive Chef * White House Fellows * ''White House History'' * White House Social Secretary * :Rooms in the White House * White House COVID-19 outbreak


Notes


References


Further reading

* Abbott, James A. ''A Frenchman in Camelot: The Decoration of the Kennedy White House by Stéphane Boudin.'' Boscobel Restoration Inc.: 1995. . * Abbott, James A. ''Jansen.'' Acanthus Press: 2006. . * Clinton, Hillary Rodham. ''An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History.'' Simon & Schuster: 2000. . * Garrett, Wendell. ''Our Changing White House.'' Northeastern University Press: 1995. . * Guidas, John. ''The White House: Resources for Research at the Library of Congress.'' Library of Congress, 1992. * Huchet de Quénetain, Christophe. "De quelques bronzes dorés français conservés à la Maison-Blanche à Washington D.C." in ''La Revue'', Pierre Bergé & associés, n°6, mars 2005 pp. 54–55. . * Kenny, Peter M., Frances F. Bretter and Ulrich Leben. ''Honoré Lannuier Cabinetmaker from Paris: The Life and Work of French'' Ébiniste ''in Federal New York.'' The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Harry Abrams: 1998. . * Klara, Robert. ''The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence.'' Thomas Dunne Books: 2013. . * Kloss, William. ''Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride.'' White House Historical Association in cooperation with the National Geographic Society, 1992. . * Leish, Kenneth. ''The White House.'' Newsweek Book Division: 1972. . * McKellar, Kenneth, Douglas W. Orr, Edward Martin, et al. ''Report of the on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion.'' Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion, Government Printing Office: 1952. * Monkman, Betty C. ''The White House: The Historic Furnishing & First Families.'' Abbeville Press: 2000. . * New York Life Insurance Company. ''The Presidents from 1789 to 1908 and the History of the White House.'' New York Life Insurance Company: 1908. * Penaud, Guy ''Dictionnaire des châteaux du Périgord.'' Editions Sud-Ouest: 1996. . * Phillips-Schrock, Patrick. ''The White House: An Illustrated Architectural History'' (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013) 196 pp. * Seale, William. ''The President's House.'' White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 1986. . * Seale, William, ''The White House: The History of an American Idea.'' White House Historical Association: 1992, 2001. . * West, J.B. with Mary Lynn Kotz. ''Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies.'' Coward, McCann & Geoghegan: 1973. . * Wolff, Perry. ''A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy.'' Doubleday & Company: 1962. * ''Exhibition Catalogue, Sale 6834: The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis April 23–26, 1996.'' Sothebys, Inc.: 1996. * ''The White House: An Historic Guide.'' White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 2001. . * ''The White House. The First Two Hundred Years,'' ed. by Frank Freidel/William Pencak, Boston 1994.


External links

*
The White House Historical Association
with historical photos, online tours and exhibits, timelines, and facts
President's Park (White House)
part of the
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mecha ...

The White House Museum
a detailed online tour *
Detailed 3D computer model
of White House and grounds * Video tours: ** ** ** * {{Authority control White House, 1800 establishments in Washington, D.C. Buildings and structures in the United States destroyed by arson Buildings of the United States government in Washington, D.C. Burned houses in the United States Federal architecture in Washington, D.C. Historic house museums in Washington, D.C. Houses completed in 1800 Houses on the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C. James Hoban buildings National Historic Landmarks in Washington, D.C. Neoclassical architecture in Washington, D.C. Northwest (Washington, D.C.) Presidential homes in the United States Presidential museums in Washington, D.C. Presidential residences in the United States Rebuilt buildings and structures in the United States Reportedly haunted locations in Washington, D.C.