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The White House, formerly known as the Executive Mansion (1810–1901), is the President of the United States' official office and residence.
Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. in Washington DC, the White House is a magnificent building. It is the world's most famous and instantly recognizable residence, functioning as the president's home and workplace, as well as the headquarters of the president's senior staff members.
The White House and its beautiful grounds are spread out over 18 acres (7.2 ha). Every American president has lived at the White House since George Washington's administration (1789–97) when he occupied presidential homes in New York and Philadelphia.
On early maps, the building was referred to as the president's palace, but in 1810, it was renamed the Executive Mansion to eliminate the implications of a monarchy. Although the term White House was popular at the same time, due to the mansion's white-gray sandstone's remarkable contrast with the red brick of adjacent structures. The name was not officially adopted until 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–09) changed the name. The White House is the nation's capital's oldest federal structure.
Keep reading to discover when the White House was built and what happens in the White House. Also, you can check out our other facts articles like Ohio history facts, and California State flower facts.
In 1791, the first president, George Washington, chose the location for the White House. The cornerstone was placed the following year, and a design by Irish-born architect James Hoban was chosen. President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved into the unfinished house after eight years of its construction.
The President's house was lit on fire by the British during the War of 1812, and James Hoban was appointed to reconstruct it. The South Portico was built during the administration of James Monroe, who moved into the building in 1817. Andrew Jackson was the one to oversee the construction of the North Portico in 1829. Several ideas to greatly enlarge the president's house or to construct an altogether new residence were made in the late 1800s, but none of them were carried through.
President Theodore Roosevelt started a comprehensive restoration of what was known as the presidential palace in 1902, which included moving 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).
McKim, Mead & White, a well-known New York architectural firm, developed and executed the Roosevelt refurbishment. President William Howard Taft, Roosevelt's successor, had the Oval Office built within an expanded office wing.
The White House has been a residence to every U.S. President since John Adams, and the building's history stretches far beyond its construction. The White House is both the residence of the President of the United States and their family, as well as a living museum of American history, from the ground floor corridor rooms, which were once used as service areas, to the state floor rooms, where countless leaders and dignitaries have been entertained.
The White House is still a site where history is made.
The six-story White House has 132 rooms (16 of which are family guest rooms) and 35 bathrooms, covering 55,000 sq ft (5110 sq m).
The residence has 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators according to the official White House web page, and a kitchen capable of serving a full dinner for up to 140 people or hors d'oeuvres for more than 1000 visitors.
And what happens when it's time for a fresh coat of paint every four to six years? The exterior requires 570 gal (2158 l) to be completely covered.
A now-covered indoor swimming pool, built for Franklin D. Roosevelt, and an outdoor pool, built by Gerald R. Ford, are also part of the mansion and grounds. A tennis court, one-lane bowling alley, small movie theater, game room, jogging track, and putting green are among the other on-site amenities available to the president.
There are stories about secret rooms in the White House; however, the sole 'secret corridor,' according to the White House Historical Association, is an emergency situation room erected beneath the East Wing during Franklin Roosevelt's administration following the 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing. Vice President Dick Cheney used the corridor after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and President Donald Trump was likely detained there during a 2020 demonstration outside the White House gates, according to The Washington Post.
Although there could be secret rooms we do not know of; if they tell us, it wouldn't be much of a secret now, would it?
According to the National Archives, the United States government did not maintain slaves, but it did pay slave owners or hire them to assist in building the White House.
According to the White House Historical Association, city commissioners in Washington DC planned to import workers from Europe for the project, which began in 1792 and lasted eight years. When they received no reaction, they instead sought the help of both free and enslaved African Americans and a few Europeans to construct not only the President's mansion but also other government facilities such as the United States Capitol.
James Hoban, an Irish immigrant and architect hand-picked by President George Washington, created the original structure. Hoban oversaw the attempt to reconstruct the presidential offices after the British set fire to it in 1814 during the War of 1812.
The white mantel made of marble from the original 1909 President's Office, the Presidential Seal on the ceiling, the two flags behind the president's desk (the U.S. Flag and the President's Flag) — are all aspects that remain constant even as each President decorates the Oval Office to their liking.
President Obama also added a new oval-shaped rug made of 25% recycled wool to the room, in addition to hand-painted striped wallpaper on the walls. The Presidential Seal is featured right in the center of the rug, with five meaningful historical lines from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy bordering it.
Despite the fact that he chose the site and architect, President Washington was the only President to never live in the White House.
James Hoban, an Irish-born architect, was chosen from nine proposals, including one by President Thomas Jefferson. President John Adams and his wife (the first lady) were the first to move into the President's house, which was not finished until 1800.
Every President and his family have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since then. Two presidents, William Henry Harrison in 1841 and Zachary Taylor in 1850, as well as three first ladies, Letitia Tyler, Caroline Harrison, and Ellen Wilson, died in the White House.
The president's bedroom is a White House bedroom on the second level. The White House master suite consists of the bedroom, an adjacent sitting room, and a smaller dressing room, all of which are positioned in the southwest corner. It was a normal practice prior to the Ford Administration for the president and first lady to have separate bedrooms. Until then, this chamber was generally utilized as the first lady's bedroom; nonetheless, it was President Lincoln's sleeping quarters.
The dressing room in the suite's southwest corner, which contains a walk-in closet and bathroom, has traditionally been used as the first lady's dressing room, study, or bedroom. A walk-through closet connects the suite to another bedroom, which features a huge bathroom as well. Until the 1970s, the space now utilized as a living room, immediately west of the Yellow Oval Room, served as the president's private bedroom.
The exterior stone walls are the original walls from when the White House was built two centuries ago. According to one theory, the cornerstone is hidden between two stone walls in the Rose Garden.
With five full-time chefs, the White House kitchen can serve dinner to up to 140 people and hors d'oeuvres to over 1000.
It has 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators.
In 1791, the first US President, George Washington, chose the location for the White House in the nation's capital. President Washington, who served from 1789-1797 and died in 1799, never had the opportunity to live in the People's House or sit in the Oval Office.
The President's Palace withstood two fires: one set by the British in 1814 (during the War of 1812) and another set by Americans in 1929 in the West Wing.
The White House is both the workplace and the residence of the sitting president.
The White House has its own bowling lane.
The East Room that is part of the White House is both an event and reception room located in the Executive Residence.
The mansion remained mostly intact until President Theodore Roosevelt moved the executive mansion to the newly completed West Wing around the turn of the 20th century.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 15 facts about the White House that will amaze you!, then why not take a look at 35 ancient civilizations facts that everyone will love!, or ancient Chinese crossbow facts: why was it so important and more.
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