• The White House

    Since 1800, the White House has served as both a home and an office to U.S. presidents and their families.

     

    Fun Facts

    • John Adams was the first U.S. president to live in the White House.
    • George Washington lived in two homes in New York, followed by a home in Philadelphia, which was originally to be the U.S. capitol.
    • Construction for the White House began in 1792 and was designed after the Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland. It has a neoclassical design and cost $232,371 to build. In today’s money, it would have cost $3,500,613. Most of the work was done by free or enslaved African Americans and Scottish immigrants.
    • In 1814, during the War of 1812, the British set Washington D.C. and the White House on fire. The entire interior of the White House was destroyed and much of the outside had to be redone too.
    • The White House is made from sandstone, which was painted white.
    • In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt added the West Wing.
    • In 1909, President Taft added the Oval Office.
    • Over the years, the White House has been renovated and enlarged multiple times. Every U.S. president has made some changes to it.
    • Today the White House has six stories, including a 2-story basement and a guest house. There is room at the White House for the president’s family, offices for the president and his staff, as well as offices for housekeeping and security staff.
    • The National Park Service owns the White House.

     

    Vocabulary

    1. Interior: inside
    2. Sandstone: a relatively soft stone made of hardened sand

     

    Questions and Answers

    Question: Where did the White House get its name?

    Answer: Originally it was called the Presidential Palace and the Presidential Mansion. People began calling it the White House in the 1800s, probably because of its white color.

    Theodore Roosevelt’s stationary used the name officially for the first time. The White House’s address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

     

    Learn More

    See what the   White House looks like.

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