Top 10 Interesting Facts About the White House

The Top Ten
1 George Washington never actually lived in the White House George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

You’d think that President George Washington would be the first to live there but you’d be mistaken. Ironically enough he was the one who picked the location and supervised the project during his presidency but never lived in the completed house because it wasn’t complete during his lifetime. He did most of his work in office from Philadelphia. In 1800, when the White House was almost finished, America's second president, John Adams moved in and he was the first to live there. Even if Washington ran a 3rd time he still probably wouldn’t have ever lived in the White House. He didn’t even want a second term by the way but did it anyway to try and keep political division between his cabinet members under control

I was kinda shocked to hear that lol

2 The West Wing was actually on fire

The White House was on fire not once but twice. Unlike 1814 This time wasn’t intentional The fire took place in the West Wing which in case you weren’t aware. Most of what we associate with the White House takes place in the West Wing; there’s the Situation Room, the Cabinet Room, and of course, the Oval Office. However, none of that existed before Teddy Roosevelt. Fast forward to Christmas Eve 1929, shortly after the United States fell into a deep economic depression, an electrical fire broke out in the West Wing of the White House. The fire gutted the executive offices. Congress approved emergency funds for repairs, and President Herbert Hoover and his staff moved back in on April 14, 1930. The Great Depression probably would have happened anyway but having a situation like that play out definitely doesn’t help matters any

3 It almost collapsed

President Harry S. Truman was forced out of the White House and lived in the Blair House after officials decided the aging White House was close to collapse. Apparently, the repair budget under the FDR Administration was ignored, even as more White House staffers were added to payrolls. In 1948, engineers discovered it was structurally unsound and close to falling down at any given moment. Truman then spearheaded an extensive renovation and restoration project, which was completed in 1952.

4 Very little remains from the original building

The modern day White House is not the same as the original version. In 1812 America thought it would be a good idea to burn Parliament buildings in Ontario Canada. The British decided to retaliate and burn down the original White House in 1814. The inside of the presidential structure was destroyed and the exterior walls were badly charred. After the fire, President James Madison lived in the Octagon House, which later served as headquarters for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed White House in October 1817. A George Washington painting and a few exterior walls are the only things known to be saved from the original building. James Hoban actually rebuilt the White House in about 3 years which is quite incredible considering it took nearly 10 years to build the original building the main reason Hoban was able to build it back quickly was due to the fact that he altered the structural scheme of the house by ...more

5 There is a missing cornerstone

Yeah the White House has a secret. In October 1792, a group of freemasons met at a Georgetown tavern and paraded to the proposed site of the president’s mansion. In a ceremony, they placed an inscribed cornerstone to mark the start of the House’s construction. They then marched to an inn and made a toast to the event. And another, and another. In fact, they made 16 toasts! Unfortunately no one really documented where the stone was because they were either too drunk or didn’t think it was necessary. Anyway the mystery remains where that stone actually is. President Truman tried to find the stone during the renovation period in the late 40’s to early 50’s but no one has seen it since 1792. One theory is that is embedded between two stone walls near the Rose Garden. Perhaps when someone does find it there will be a 17th toast

6 Franklin Roosevelt made it wheelchair accessible

The original builders of the White House didn't consider the possibility of a president with a disability. The White House didn't become wheelchair accessible until Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933. President Roosevelt lived with paralysis due to polio, so the White House was remodeled to accommodate his wheelchair. It was also one of the first Wheelchair accessible buildings in Washington. Franklin Roosevelt also added a heated indoor swimming pool to help with his therapy. In 1970, the swimming pool was covered over and used as the press briefing room.

7 Theodore Roosevelt was the one that designated the name to be “White House” Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the ...read more.

The White House has been called many names. Dolley Madison, the wife of President James Madison, called it the "President's Castle." The White House was also called the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." The name "White House" didn't become official until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt officially adopted it.

8 The White House has 6 floors

The White House Residence is massive. I mean it is a mansion after all. It spans six floors and includes 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms. There are 412 doors, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, and the setup for the most epic game of hide-and-seek of all time. It also includes some pretty nice amenities from a bowling alley to movie theater to swimming pool and even a putting Green

9 10 people have died at the White House

According to the White House Historical Association There are only 10 known deaths at the White House. Of the 10 People to die in the White House only two were Presidents: William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor Three of the 10 people were First Ladies: Letitia Tyler, Caroline Harrison, and Ellen Wilson. The first person to die there was William Henry Harrison on April 4th 1841 and the most recent person to die there was Margaret Wallace on December 5th 1952.

10 It was technically built by slaves

The land that became Washington, D.C., was acquired from Virginia and Maryland, where enslavement was practiced. Historic payroll reports document that many of the workers who built the White House were African Americans some were free and some enslaved. Working alongside white laborers. The U.S. government didn't own slaves, according to the National Archives, but it did pay slave owners to hire them to help build the White House. The entire project took 8 years to complete from 1792-1800

The Contenders
11 The White House's architect wasn't American
12 The White House is estimated to to be worth $287 million
13 It’s not White, it’s actually beige
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