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White House

South face of the White House
White House is located in Washington, D.C.
Location in Washington, D.C.
General information
Town or city 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Country United States
Coordinates 38°53′51.61″N 77°2′11.58″W / 38.8976694°N 77.03655°W / 38.8976694; -77.03655
Construction started October 13, 1792
Design and construction
Architect James Hoban

The White House is the home and main workplace of the President of the United States. The house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban.[1] It is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.. The building was built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical style. It has been the home of every U.S. President since John Adams. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) expanded the building outward. They made two colonnades that were meant to hide stables and storage.[2]

In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set on fire by the British Army in the Burning of Washington. The fire destroyed the inside of the house and charred much of the outside. Reconstruction began almost immediately. President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed house in October 1817. Construction continued with the addition of the South Portico in 1824 and the North in 1829.

Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had all work offices moved to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office. This was eventually moved as the section was expanded. The third-floor attic was changed into living quarters in 1927. A newly built East Wing was used as a reception area for social events. Jefferson's colonnades connected the new wings. East Wing changes were completed in 1946. These changes made more office space. By 1948, the house's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were completely taken apart and a new internal load-bearing steel frame was built inside the walls. Once this work was done, the interior rooms were rebuilt.

Today, the White House Complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room, East Wing, and the Old Executive Office Building, which houses the executive offices of the President and Vice President.

The White House is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The term White House is regularly used as a metonym for the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for the president's administration and advisers in general. The property is owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture."


  1. White House History,
  2. Michael W. Fazio and Patrick A. Snadon (2006). The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 364–366.