White House

White House
White House north and south sides.jpg
Top: the northern facade with a columned portico facing Lafayette Square
Bottom: the southern facade with a semi-circular portico facing The Ellipse
White House is located in Central Washington, D.C.
White House
White House is located in the US
White House
Location in Washington, D.C.
General information
Architectural style Neoclassical, Palladian
Address 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S.
Coordinates 38°53′52″N 77°02′11″W / 38°53′52″N 77°02′11″W / 38.8977; -77.0365
Current tenants Donald Trump, President of the United States and the First Family
Construction started October 13, 1792; 225 years ago (1792-10-13)
Completed November 1, 1800; 217 years ago (1800-11-01) [1]
Design and construction
Architect James Hoban
Aerial view of the White House complex, viewed from north. In the foreground is Pennsylvania Avenue, closed to traffic. Center: Executive Residence (1792-1800) with North Portico (1829); left: East Wing (1942); right: West Wing (1901), with the Oval Office (1909) at the south-east corner
White House complex, setting viewed from north with Potomac River, Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument to south

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term White House is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers, as in "The White House announced that...".

The residence was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban [2] in the neoclassical style. Construction took place between 1792 and 1800 using Aquia Creek sandstone painted white. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) added low colonnades on each wing that concealed stables and storage. [3] In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817. Exterior construction continued with the addition of the semi-circular South portico in 1824 and the North portico in 1829.

Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later in 1909, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office, which was eventually moved as the section was expanded. In the main mansion, the third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events; Jefferson's colonnades connected the new wings. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946, creating additional 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 dismantled and a new internal load-bearing steel frame constructed inside the walls. Once this work was completed, the interior rooms were rebuilt.

The modern-day White House complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President's staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence. The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second [4] on the American Institute of Architects list of " America's Favorite Architecture".

Early history

1789–1800

Following his April 1789 inauguration, President George Washington occupied two executive mansions in New York City: the Samuel Osgood House at 3 Cherry Street (April 1789 – February 1790), and the Alexander Macomb House at 39–41 Broadway (February–August 1790). In May 1790, New York began construction of Government House for his official residence, but he never occupied it. The national capital moved to Philadelphia in December 1790.

The July 1790 Residence Act named Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the temporary national capital for a 10-year period while the Federal City was under construction. The City of Philadelphia rented Robert Morris's city house at 190 High Street (now 524–30 Market Street) for Washington's presidential residence. The first president occupied the Market Street mansion from November 1790 to March 1797, and altered it in ways that may have influenced the design of the White House. As part of a futile effort to have Philadelphia named the permanent national capital, Pennsylvania built a much grander presidential mansion several blocks away, but Washington declined to occupy it.

President John Adams also occupied the Market Street mansion from March 1797 to May 1800. On Saturday, [5] November 1, 1800, [6] he became the first president to occupy the White House. The President's House in Philadelphia became a hotel and was demolished in 1832, while the unused presidential mansion became home to the University of Pennsylvania.

First Presidential Mansion: Samuel Osgood House, Manhattan, New York. Occupied by Washington: April 1789 – February 1790. 
Second Presidential Mansion: Alexander Macomb House, Manhattan, New York. Occupied by Washington: February–August 1790. 
Third Presidential Mansion: President's House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Occupied by Washington: November 1790 – March 1797. Occupied by Adams: March 1797 – May 1800. 
Government House, Manhattan, New York (1790–1791). Built to be the permanent presidential mansion, Congress moved the national capital to Philadelphia before its completion. 
House intended for the President, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1790s). Built to be the permanent presidential mansion, neither Washington nor Adams would occupy it. 

Architectural competition

Hoban's Charleston County Courthouse, Charleston, South Carolina, 1790–92, was admired by Washington.
A 1793 elevation by James Hoban. His 3-story, 9-bay original submission was altered into this 2-story, 11-bay design.
Drawing of Andrea Palladio - Project for Francesco et Lodovico de Trissini - From the book : I quattro libri dell'architettura - Published in 1570
The North Portico of the White House compared to Leinster House
The Château de Rastignac compared to the South Portico of the White House, ca. 1846

The President's House was a major feature of Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's' plan for the newly established federal city, Washington, D.C. (see: L'Enfant Plan). [7] [8] The architect of the White House was chosen in a design competition which received nine proposals, including one submitted anonymously by Thomas Jefferson. [9]

President Washington visited Charleston, South Carolina in May 1791 on his "Southern Tour", and saw the under-construction Charleston County Courthouse designed by Irish architect James Hoban. He is reputed to have met with Hoban then. The following year, he summoned the architect to Philadelphia and met with him in June 1792. [10]

On July 16, 1792, the President met with the commissioners of the federal city to make his judgment in the architectural competition. His review is recorded as being brief, and he quickly selected Hoban's submission. [11]

Washington was not entirely pleased with the original submission, however; he found it too small, lacking ornament, and not monumental enough to house the nation's president. On his recommendation, the house was changed from three stories to two, and was widened from a nine-bay facade to an 11-bay facade. Hoban's competition drawings do not survive.[ citation needed]

Design influences

The building has classical inspiration sources, that could be found directly or indirectly in the Roman architect Vitruvius or in Andrea Palladio styles; Palladio being an Italian architect of the Renaissance which had a considerable influence on the Western architecture ( Palladian architecture). The building Hoban designed is verifiably influenced by the upper floors of Leinster House, in Dublin, which later became the seat of the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament). [12] Several other Georgian-era Irish country houses have been suggested as sources of inspiration for the overall floor plan, details like the bow-fronted south front, and interior details like the former niches in the present Blue Room. These influences, though undocumented, are cited in the official White House guide, and in White House Historical Association publications. The first official White House guide, published in 1962, suggested a link between Hoban's design for the South Portico and Château de Rastignac, a neoclassical country house located in La Bachellerie in the Dordogne region of France and designed by Mathurin Salat. Construction on the French house was initially started before 1789, interrupted by the French Revolution for twenty years and then finally built 1812–1817 (based on Salat's pre-1789 design). [13] The theoretical link between the two houses has been criticized because Hoban did not visit France. Supporters of a connection posit that Thomas Jefferson, during his tour of Bordeaux in 1789, viewed Salat's architectural drawings (which were on-file at the College) at the École Spéciale d'Architecture (Bordeaux Architectural College). [14] On his return to the U.S. he then shared the influence with Washington, Hoban, Monroe, and Benjamin Henry Latrobe. [13]

Construction

Construction of the White House began with the laying of the cornerstone on October 13, 1792, although there was no formal ceremony. [15] The main residence, as well as foundations of the house, were built largely by enslaved and free African-American laborers, as well as employed Europeans. [16] Much of the other work on the house was performed by immigrants, many not yet with citizenship. The sandstone walls were erected by Scottish immigrants, employed by Hoban, [17] as were the high-relief rose and garland decorations above the north entrance and the "fish scale" pattern beneath the pediments of the window hoods. The initial construction took place over a period of eight years, at a reported cost of $232,371.83 (equal to $3,279,177 today). Although not yet completed, the White House was ready for occupancy circa November 1, 1800. [18]

Shortages, including material and labor, forced alterations to the earlier plan developed by French engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant for a "palace" that was five times larger than the house that was eventually built. [17] The finished structure contained only two main floors instead of the planned three, and a less costly brick served as a lining for the stone façades. When construction was finished, the porous sandstone walls were whitewashed with a mixture of lime, rice glue, casein, and lead, giving the house its familiar color and name. [17]

As it is a famed structure in America, several replicas of the White House have been constructed.

Architectural description

The north front is the principal façade of the White House and consists of three floors and eleven bays. The ground floor is hidden by a raised carriage ramp and parapet, thus the façade appears to be of two floors. The central three bays are behind a prostyle portico (this was a later addition to the house, built circa 1830) serving, thanks to the carriage ramp, as a porte cochere. The windows of the four bays flanking the portico, at first-floor level, have alternating pointed and segmented pediments, while at second-floor level the pediments are flat. The principal entrance at the center of the portico is surmounted by a lunette fanlight. Above the entrance is a sculpted floral festoon. The roofline is hidden by a balustraded parapet.

The mansion's southern façade is a combination of the Palladian and neoclassical styles of architecture. It is of three floors, all visible. The ground floor is rusticated in the Palladian fashion. At the center of the façade is a neoclassical projecting bow of three bays. The bow is flanked by five bays, the windows of which, as on the north façade, have alternating segmented and pointed pediments at first-floor level. The bow has a ground floor double staircase leading to an Ionic colonnaded loggia (with the Truman Balcony at second-floor level), known as the south portico. The more modern third floor is hidden by a balustraded parapet and plays no part in the composition of the façade.

Naming conventions

The building was originally variously referred to as the "President's Palace", "Presidential Mansion", or "President's House". [19] The earliest evidence of the public calling it the "White House" was recorded in 1811. [20] A myth emerged that during the rebuilding of the structure after the Burning of Washington, white paint was applied to mask the burn damage it had suffered, [21] giving the building its namesake hue. [22] The name "Executive Mansion" was used in official contexts until President Theodore Roosevelt established the formal name by having "White House–Washington" engraved on the stationery in 1901. [23] [24] The current letterhead wording and arrangement "The White House" with the word "Washington" centered beneath goes back to the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. [24]

Although the structure was not completed until some years after the presidency of George Washington, there is speculation that the name of the traditional residence of the President of the United States may have derived from Martha Washington's home, White House Plantation in Virginia, where the nation's first President had courted the First Lady in the mid-18th century. [25]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Withuis
አማርኛ: ዋይት ሃውስ
العربية: البيت الأبيض
asturianu: Casa Blanca
Aymar aru: Janq'u Uta
azərbaycanca: Ağ Ev
تۆرکجه: آغ ائو
Bân-lâm-gú: Pe̍h Kiong
беларуская: Белы дом
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Белы дом
भोजपुरी: व्हाइट हाउस
български: Белият дом
Boarisch: Weißes Haus
bosanski: Bijela kuća
brezhoneg: Ti Gwenn
català: Casa Blanca
Чӑвашла: Шурă çурт
čeština: Bílý dům
Cymraeg: Y Tŷ Gwyn
Deutsch: Weißes Haus
ދިވެހިބަސް: ވައިޓް ހައުސް
eesti: Valge Maja
Ελληνικά: Λευκός Οίκος
español: Casa Blanca
euskara: Etxe Zuria
فارسی: کاخ سفید
français: Maison-Blanche
Gaeilge: Teach Bán
galego: Casa Branca
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Pa̍k-kiûng
한국어: 백악관
Հայերեն: Սպիտակ տուն
hrvatski: Bijela kuća
Bahasa Indonesia: Gedung Putih
italiano: Casa Bianca
עברית: הבית הלבן
Basa Jawa: Gedhung Putih
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಶ್ವೇತ ಭವನ
ქართული: თეთრი სახლი
қазақша: Ақ Үй
Kurdî: Qesra Spî
Latina: Domus Alba
latviešu: Baltais nams
lietuvių: Baltieji rūmai
lumbaart: Cà Bianca
magyar: Fehér Ház
македонски: Белата куќа
مازِرونی: اسپه کاخ
Bahasa Melayu: Rumah Putih
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Băh Gṳ̆ng
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အိမ်ဖြူတော်
Nouormand: Blianche Maîson
occitan: Ostal Blanc
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Oq Uy
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਵਾਈਟ ਹਾਊਸ
پنجابی: وائٹ ہاؤس
Piemontèis: Ca bianca
polski: Biały Dom
português: Casa Branca
română: Casa Albă
русский: Белый дом
sicilianu: Casa Janca
Simple English: White House
slovenčina: Biely dom
slovenščina: Bela hiša
کوردی: کۆشکی سپی
српски / srpski: Бела кућа
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bijela kuća
svenska: Vita huset
Tagalog: White House
татарча/tatarça: Ак йорт
తెలుగు: శ్వేత సౌధం
Tsetsêhestâhese: Vo'kome-mâheo'o
Türkçe: Beyaz Saray
українська: Білий дім
vepsän kel’: Vauged Pert'
Tiếng Việt: Nhà Trắng
文言: 白宮
吴语: 白屋
ייִדיש: ווייסע הויז
Yorùbá: White House
粵語: 白宮
Zeêuws: Witte 'uus
中文: 白宮