For a building that was once called “the glamorous prison”, the White House still enchants many wannabe prisoners. It’s been the official residence and office of the President of United States since November 1, 1800, when John Adams the second president of United States moved into it. The building is symbolic of American presidency and so well-known that the term “The White House” is often used to represent “The President” himself. The presidential palace has outlived war of 1812, the American Civil War and escaped an alleged terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.The White House is the official venue for hosting get-togethers and dinners to international guests and above all, a symbol of American pride in being a world super power for past 100 years and more. It is also one of the most visited buildings in U.S.A, with nearly six thousand visitors each day. To update yourself with some more interesting facts about the White House, just browse through the following lines.
Interesting & Fun Facts About The White House
- The architect for the White House was chosen through a design competition. George Washington selected the winner, James Hoban on July 16, 1792, after a brief review.
- The East room present today was added on George Washington’s recommendation, inspired from a large reception room at his own home -Mount Vernon.
- When John Adams moved into the White House, it was not fully completed, but just ready for occupation.
- The White House was originally natural gray in color, which is the color of sandstone used for the building.
- North side of the White House draws inspiration from the Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland, while the south side can be compared to the Château de Rastignac, a country house located in France.
- The building was originally called “President’s Palace” or “Presidents Mansion”. In 1901, Teddy Roosevelt established the formal name by having "White House - Washington" put on all government stationery. Till then the house was called “Executive Mansion “ on official papers .
- Some suggest that the building was painted White to hide the damages incurred during the burning of Washington on August 24, 1814.
- Harry Truman, who was the 33rd president of U.S, called the White House “a glamorous prison”
- This presidential palace received running water and central heating in 1835, while electric lights were only added in 1891.
- Though it is the stronghold of the American president, most of its external walls are still made of wood, which require 570 gallons of paint to cover up.
- The White House has indoor tennis courts, a swimming pool, a movie theater, a running track, billiard room and a bowling lane to serve the need for recreation at home by the First Family.
- About $25,370 is spent every day to maintain the White House, taking its annual maintenance bill to about $9,260,000
- There are 5 full time chefs employed at the White House, who are also responsible for serving guests at presidential dinners.
- The President and First Lady are charged for all meals and incidentals, but the President gets an expense account to cover these costs.
- Guests of the First Family can stay free at the White House, but are billed for outside services.
- White House has been home to trendsetters. John Tyler became the first president to have his photograph taken during his tenure (1841-45), while Teddy Roosevelt (1901-09) became the first president to ride in a car and travel abroad.
- The White House has 3 elevators that are used to move around the 6 floors, with 132 rooms, secured by 412 doors and sunlit through 147 windows. Adding to the grandeur are 28 fireplaces and 7 staircases. The best of hygiene is assured by the 35 bathrooms.
- Ironically, the residential building was built by the enslaved as well as free African-American laborers. Also employed were other immigrants, many of whom did not have American citizenship. For instance, the sandstone walls, the high relief rose and garland decorations above the north entrance and the "fish scale" pattern beneath the pediments of the window hoods were erected by Scottish immigrants without American citizenship.