In D.C., 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the home of The White House, the creation of George Washington. When the plan of a house for the president was initially conceived, however, our country was just in its early stage. Everything about the process of building a nation was new, including developing a design for the home that would be the residence and working space of the president of the United States.
In order to brainstorm architectural ideas, Thomas Jefferson suggested an open forum for people to submit potential house designs. Ultimately, Washington met with an Irishman by the name of James Hoban, and his design ended up being the one that Washington chose. And although Washington was the impetus behind the house project itself, he never stayed in it. Construction initiated on October 13, 1792, but wasn’t finished for eight more years. Ultimately, John Adams was actually the first president to sleep in the house on November 1, 1800.
The following day, he written a letter to his wife, Abigail, which included these words: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and all that shall hereafter live in it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” Surprisingly, years later, Franklin Roosevelt had Adams’ words memorialized in the state dining room on the mantle.
Although it stands strong today, the house was burned by British troops in 1814, and the entire interior was wrecked. The only thing that remained were the exterior walls that make up the iconic facade that every American acknowledges instantly. Restoration began on the house immediately thereafter, and James Monroe was the first president to move back into the house when that project was done. During the Truman administration, it became obvious that the house was structurally compromised and risky. Accordingly, the Trumans moved out and a substantial renovation initiated. The interior was essentially demolished, and the structure was reinforced by steel beams. Once that framework was set up, the rooms were repaired essentially as they were before, and the timber from the demolished beams was sawn into paneling that was then installed in the house. During the Kennedy administration, Jackie Kennedy decorated the house in a style made to reflect its marvelous story and history.
Furthermore, even though the White House was the original structure, these days the complex encompasses several buildings that have been added to accommodate its purposes and the business that takes place there. The property sits on 18 acres, a sprawling, picturesque plot of land and gardens, and some of the oldest trees on the site are magnolias that were grown by Andrew Jackson.
Any other interesting facts?
The first public rally there was for the women’s suffrage movement on January 10, 1917.
Things changed shortly after the beginning of the 1900s, but up until then, all the staff at the White House were hired by the president himself, and they were paid by him personally.
And, for some numbers? As it stands nowadays, the White House has 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, and 5 full-time chefs.
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