Did You Know This About the White House?
Now that there’s a new family occupying the White House, you might be interested in these facts about our nation’s most famous home.
The White House had a rough start. It took 9 years to build--Washington chose the location in 1791 and John Adams finally occupied it in 1800. It was partially destroyed in the War of 1812 and wasn’t livable again until 1817 during the Monroe administration.
Immigrants designed & built the White House. James Hoban used the Irish Parliament’s Leinster House as inspiration and the structure was built by Irish & Scottish immigrants alongside free & enslaved Black Americans.
It was originally called the President’s House or the Executive Mansion, but journalists referred to it as the White House due to the white-washed exterior. Teddy Roosevelt officially declared it the White House in 1901.
For more than a century, the White House was the nation’s largest residence, with 6 floors, 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms & 28 fireplaces. The Gilded Age saw larger homes/estates built by Robber Barons.
The West Wing wasn’t always attached to the White House. Teddy Roosevelt built the wing to keep the White House’s business & residential functions separate--he had 6 kids. William Taft had them connected during his administration.
The White House became wheelchair-accessible thanks to FDR. He also added an indoor swimming pool that has since been filled in and is now the press briefing room.
The Resolute Desk in the Oval Office was a gift from Queen Victoria to Rutherford Hayes in 1880--it was made from the remnants of the British Arctic exploration ship, HMS Resolute.
The White House is also a museum--it received museum accreditation in 1988.
The White House’s Zestimate is $421.5 million. Of course, the property is priceless, but if you wanted to buy it with a 20% down payment, you’d need more than $84 million in cash.