White House

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The residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. It is a white building located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW in Washington, D.C.

The White House was built after the creation of the District of Columbia by an Act of Congress in December, 1790. President George Washington himself helped select the site, along with city planner Pierre L'Enfant. The design of the building was determined by holding a competition, which received nine proposals. James Hoban, an Irish-American, was awarded the honor and construction began with the laying of the cornerstone in October, 1792.

John Adams became the first president to take residence in the building in 1800. In 1814, during the War of 1812 the White House was gutted. Only the exterior walls remained, but it was rebuilt.

Very few people realize the size of the White House, since much of it is below ground or otherwise minimized by landscaping. In fact, the White House has:

  • 132 rooms
  • 35 bathrooms
  • 6 stories
  • 412 doors
  • 147 windows
  • 28 fireplaces
  • 8 staircases
  • 3 elevators
  • 5 full time chefs
  • 5,000 visitors a day
  • a tennis court
  • a bowling lane
  • a movie theater
  • a jogging track
  • a swimming pool

The White House has an official website at http://www.whitehouse.gov, from which much of this information came.