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., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.
The residence was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the neoclassical style. Construction took place between 1792 and 1800 using Aquia Creek sandstone painted white.
When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) added low colonnades on each wing that concealed stables and storage. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior.
Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence 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 had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later in 1909, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office, which was eventually moved as the section was expanded.
In the main mansion, the third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events; Jefferson’s colonnades connected the new wings. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946, creating additional office space. By 1948, the house’s load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were completely dismantled and a new internal load-bearing steel frame constructed inside the walls. Once this work was completed, the interior rooms were rebuilt.
The modern-day White House complex includes the;
The Executive Residence is the central building of the White House complex located between the East Wing and West Wing. It is the most recognizable part of the complex, being the actual “house” part of the White House.
This central building, first constructed from 1792 to 1800, is home to the President of the United States and the First Family. The Executive Residence primarily occupies four floors: the Ground Floor, the State Floor, the Second Floor, and the Third Floor.
The West Wing of the White House, also known as the Executive Office Building, houses the offices of the President of the United States. The West Wing contains the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room.
The West Wing’s seven floors contain offices for the White House Chief of Staff, the Counselor to the President, the Senior Advisor to the President, the White House Press Secretary, and their support staffs.
The Vice President—whose primary office is next door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building— also has an office in the building. Adjoining the press secretary’s office, in the colonnade between the West Wing and the Executive Residence is the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room along with work space for the White House press corps.
The East Wing is a part of the White House Complex. It is a two-story structure east of the White House Executive Residence, the home of the President of the United States.
While the West Wing generally serves the president’s executive office staff, the East Wing serves as office space for the First Lady and her staff, including the White House Social Secretary, White House Graphics and Calligraphy Office and correspondence staff.
The East Wing also includes the visitors’ entrance, and the East Colonnade, a corridor connecting the body of the East Wing to the residence. Along the corridor is also the White House theater, also called the Family theater. Social visitors to the White House usually enter through the East Wing.
The United States Government purchased Blair House in 1942 at the urging of President Franklin Roosevelt when the need for diplomacy grew apace with the American military role in the Second World War.
Previously, guests of the president customarily spent a night in the White House, followed by a hotel or embassy for the remainder of their visit. Winston Churchill’s frequent trips to Washington helped convince President Franklin Roosevelt of the need for official diplomatic housing.
Composed of four seamlessly connected town homes—two on Pennsylvania Avenue and two facing Lafayette Park on Jackson Place—Blair House retains the unique outward appearance of each original house with a carefully integrated interior.
Today, the complex contains more than 120 rooms, a total area of 60,600 square feet, and a staff of 18 full-time employees to oversee all aspects of hospitality and maintenance.
Blair House has 14 guestrooms, each with a full bathroom, three formal dining rooms, two large conference rooms, a hot and cold kitchen overseen by an executive chef and sous chef, a fully equipped beauty salon, an exercise room, and an in-house laundry facility.
White Executive 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. The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President’s Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of “America’s Favorite Architecture”.