A Tour of The White House

From on February 10, 2009 in Locations

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Home is our daily topic of choice, but there’s one in particular we haven’t discussed – the President’s home. With 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, it is a residence worth knowing more about.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been around for over 200 years. What started out as an idea by our beloved President Washington became a symbol of America and all that we stand for.

Construction began in 1792 but wasn’t completed until 1800; President Washington never lived in the White House. The first residents were President John Adams and his wife Abigail. Including President Obama, 43 presidents have called the White House their private home.

Prior to President Roosevelt officially naming the White House in 1901, it was known as the Executive Mansion, President’s Palace, and the President’s House.

A Glance at The White House

  • 6 stories
  • 132 rooms
  • 35 bathrooms
  • 28 fireplaces
  • 8 staircases & 3 elevators
  • Dinner seating for 140 guests
  • Bowling
  • Theater
  • Tennis court
  • Swimming pool
  • Track

The East Room

The large East Room is located at the East corner of the White House. It serves as a multipurpose room for weddings, funerals, receptions, and conferences. It’s also been a laundry room, cabinet room, office, and a movie theater. The bodies of President Lincoln and President Kennedy have lain in state in this room.

The Diplomatic Room

Until 1902 this space was used as the furnace room. It is located on the first floor and, after a renovation, became an attractive parlor and gathering place for guests.

The Green Room

Located on the first floor, this room serves as a state parlor. It is a favorite room of presidents and their families because of its quaintness and décor. The signing of our first declaration of war took place in The Green Room. In 1862 President Lincoln held the funeral for his youngest son William Wallace here.

The Blue Room

The Blue Room has an oval shape and offers gorgeous views of the South Lawn. It is the customary room for presidents to formally receive guests. In 1886, President Cleveland became the first and only president to ever marry in the White House.

The Red Room

Due to its vibrant color scheme, and all the more enhanced by its small size, this room received the name The Red Room in the 1840s. This room was used for social gatherings, mostly by the First Ladies.

The State Dining Room

This room has been renovated from dining room to office and back to dining room. In 1801 President Jefferson converted the dining room into his office and, years later, President Jackson moved the horse stalls (and odor) out from under its windows and converted it back to a dining room.

The Cabinet Room

This formal room in the West Wing overlooks the Rose Garden and serves as a meeting space for presidents, cabinet secretaries, and advisors. It opens directly into the Oval Office and is surrounded by leather chairs that are specifically assigned with an engraved placard on the back indicating the position of the person meant to sit there.

The Oval Office

The president’s personal office sits in the center of the West Wing and is connected to the Cabinet Room and the Chief of Staff’s office. It was never used as the president’s office until after its renovations in 1902. President Taft was the first to relocate the office to this room and he was responsible for changing its shape from rectangular to oval.

The Press Room

What started out as a therapy pool built by Polio-stricken President Franklin Roosevelt became the press briefing room in 1970 when President Nixon converted the space to accommodate television news networks’ video equipment. Centrally located in the West Wing this room is reserved for daily press briefings by the White House press secretary and other spokesmen for the executive branch.

The Roosevelt Room

This window-less room was the original president’s office. After The Oval Office was built The Roosevelt Room became a waiting room. Today the room is used as a conference room.