In 1790, George Washington chose a wooded area near the Potomac River for the White House. An architect was chosen and work began but George Washington would be the only president who never lived in the White House. In 1800 our second president, John Adams, moved in but the house was not finished yet. There were no water pipes and no heat. During the War of 1812, the British set the White House on fire and it had to be re-built. Over the years, the White House has changed and grown in size to accommodate the need for more space and it was the largest house in the United States until the 1870s.
The White House and surrounding grounds sit on 18 acres. It has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators. There are six floors – two basements, two public floors and two private floors for the President’s family. It takes 570 gallons of paint to cover the outside walls and the stone walls are the same ones built under President Thomas Jefferson.
The President doesn’t work all of the time so there are lots of fun things to do at the White House. There is a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theatre, bowling lanes and a game room with billiards and ping pong. Thanks to President Dwight Eisenhower, there is a putting green for golf.
Originally, the “President’s House” was built with sandstone, a gray and brown stone. When it was painted white, people began to call it the White House. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt made the new name official.
The White House receives approximately 6,000 visitors a day.
The White House was wired for electricity in 1891 by President Benjamin Harrison.
The White House received its first email on June 1, 1993. Now they average 100,000 emails each day.