As the country gets set to commemorate Presidents Day, it’s time to reflect on the most famous address in the world: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington. That’s the White House — the president’s official residence in the nation’s capital. The first president, George Washington, chose the location in 1791, but never lived there. John Adams and his wife, Abigail, were the first occupants of the President’s House, moving into the unfinished structure in 1800. Fourteen years later, British troops burned it to the ground during the War of 1812. The original architect, Irish-born James Hoban, was appointed to rebuild the house, and President James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Kortright, took residence in 1817. The building’s South Portico was constructed during Monroe’s administration in 1824. The North Portico was built in 1829 under President Andrew Jackson. Construction of the Oval Office — the president’s work quarters — took place in 1909 when Howard Taft was president as part of a project to expand the executive wing. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, Ellen, planted the outdoor White House Rose Garden, the backdrop for press conferences, bill signings and special ceremonies. The White House Residence comprises 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, and has six levels. Additionally, there are 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators. Painters need 570 gallons of paint to cover the outside surfaces. President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901 on his presidential stationery. It remains the only private residence of a head of state open to public visitors without an admission charge.
And if you haven’t been, put it on your bucket list. A tour of the White House, regardless of who the current occupant is, is definitely worth it. 🙂