7 Facts About The White House That Will Make You Gasp


Olympus. The President's House. The President's Palace. The Executive Mansion. All names for the most famous home in the United States - the White House. But how well do you know it's history? We bet you'd be quite shocked to know the following 7 Facts: 1. The White House is huge, REALLY HUGE.  It was the biggest house in the United States until the Civil War! It boasts 6 floors—2 basements, 2 floors open to the public, and 2 floors for the First Family.There are 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, and 6 levels to accommodate all the people who live in, work in, and visit the White House. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators along with a bowling alley, basketball court, swimming pool, pool room and track. A final numerical shocker - it requires 570 gallons of paint at around $283,000 to cover its outside surface! 2. George Washington never lived in the White House. The mansion was in the city named for Washington, and he had a big role in the executive residence’s creation. However, it was our second president, John Adams, elected in 1796, who first lived in the White House.  George passed away in late 1799, about one year before John Adams became the first president to live in the building. Adams' term was almost over by the time he moved in, and only six rooms had been finished. 3. A lot of people work/visit/live there. The White House receives approximately 6,000 visitors a day, many of these tourists on tours. With five full-time chefs, the White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d'oeuvres to more than 1,000. 4. The White House was on fire. Twice. The British got revenge and set the White House on fire During the War in 1812 against the United States. On August 24, 1814, British soldiers sailed up the Potomac River and set fire to the White House. A summer thunderstorm put out the fire, but only the charred outside walls and the interior brick walls remained. It took 3 years to rebuild. Then, another blaze on Christmas Eve in 1929 gutted parts of the West Wing and Oval Office during President Herbert Hoover's administration. Hoover left a Christmas party to personally direct the firefighting efforts and even briefly entered the Oval Office during the fire, but he was whisked away by the Secret Service. The blaze was started by a blocked fireplace flue. 5. Slaves & Europeans helped build the White House. The land that became Washington, DC was acquired from Virginia and Maryland, where slavery was practiced. Historic payroll reports document that many of the workers hired to build the White House were African Americans - some free and some slave. Working alongside white labors, the African Americans cut sandstone at the quarry in Aquia, Virginia. They also dug the footings for the White House, built the foundations, and fired bricks for the interior walls. The White House could also not have been completed without European artisans and immigrant laborers. Scottish stoneworkers raised the sandstone walls. Craftsmen from Scotland also carved the rose and garland ornaments above the north entrance and the scalloped patterns beneath the window pediments. Irish and Italian immigrants did brick and plaster work. Later, Italian artisans carved the decorative stonework on the White House porticoes. 6. Americans love contacting the White House. The White House receives over 65,000 paper letters each week; only 10 of these are generally read by the POTUS himself. Other numbers: the White House also receives 1000 faxes, 100,000 emails and 2500 - 3500 calls daily. 7. The White House has clones. Philadelphia, the city of not-so-brotherly love apparently wasn’t happy that the new city of Washington was getting the president’s executive mansion. During the 1790s, the city built its own presidential palace as a way to tempt George Washington and others from leaving Philadelphia, which was the acting capital. Washington refused to use the “palace” and stayed elsewhere in Philadelphia. That location is two blocks south of the National Constitution Center. Also, a replica White House is in McLean, Virginia, and it has just 14,000 square feet of space, compared with 55,000 for the real White House. It even has an Oval Office and a replica of Lincoln's bedroom. The original owners used plans from White House I to build the facility from scratch. Another replica sits in Decatur, Georgia. Internationally, there is also a house in France and another in Ireland that look just like the White House.

White House replica in Georgia, USA.

Things that make you go Hmmm! =)