White House

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White House,

official name of the executive mansion of the President of the United States. It is on the south side of Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., facing Lafayette Square. The building, constructed of Virginia freestone, is of simple and stately design. The porte-cochere on the north front, which forms the main entrance, is a portico of high Ionic columns reaching from the ground to the roof pediment; it is balanced by a semicircular colonnaded balcony on the south with a second-floor porch, completed in 1948. The main building (four stories high) is about 170 ft (52 m) long by 85 ft (26 m) wide. The east and west terraces, the executive office (1902), the east wing (1942), and a penthouse and a bomb shelter (1952) have been added. The colonnade at the east end is the public entrance. The executive office is approached by an esplanade. Large receptions are usually held in the East Room, which is 40 ft (12 m) by 82 ft (25 m). The elliptical Blue Room is the scene of many social, diplomatic, and official receptions. The Red Room and the Green Room are used for private and quasi-official gatherings.

The White House, designated "the Palace" in the original plans, was designed by James HobanHoban, James
, c.1762–1831, American architect, b. Ireland. By 1789, Hoban had immigrated to the United States. He designed the South Carolina statehouse, which was burned in 1865. In 1792 he moved to Washington, D.C.
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 on a site chosen by George Washington. It is the oldest public building in Washington, its cornerstone having been laid in 1792. John Adams was the first President to live there (1800). The building was restored after being burned (1814) by British troops, and the smoke-stained gray stone walls were painted white. Despite popular myth the cognomen "White House" was applied to the building some time before it was painted. The name became official when President Theodore Roosevelt had it engraved upon his stationery. Part of the house was rebuilt (1949–52) on a steel-supporting frame.

The grounds, which cover about 18 acres (7 hectares), are attractive with broad lawns, fountains, trees, and gardens. They were planned by Andrew Jackson DowningDowning, Andrew Jackson,
1815–52, American horticulturist, rural architect, and landscape gardener, b. Newburgh, N.Y. With his brother Charles Downing, 1802–85, he took over the operation of the nursery that his father had established at Newburgh, and c.
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. The White House and its grounds are part of the larger President's Park, c.82 acres (33 hectares), which also includes Lafayette Square, the Ellipse, and the White House Visitor Center. Pennsylvania Ave. between the White House and Lafayette Square was closed to vehicular traffic in 1995 for security reasons.


See P. Wolff, A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy (1962); C. Hurd, The White House Story (1966); W. Seale, The White House (1992).

White House

official residence of the president of the U.S. in Washington, D.C. [Am. Culture: EB, X: 656]
See: America

White House

1. the official Washington residence of the president of the US
2. the US presidency
References in periodicals archive ?
You won't want to miss this opportunity to hear first-hand from Jenna and Barbara about life in the White House and what they have been up to since leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
So when, in just under two years, you hand over 1600 Pennsylvania to Sarah Palin, you might want someone like "Teflon" Tony Blair to help with your future employment plans.
My future job will be much different, depending on which person moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
He knows change does not come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill, Gore wrote, referring to the White House and congress.
Apparently it hasn't occurred to the president or his spear carriers that these are exactly the kind of visas that some of the 9/11 hijackers possessed when they commandeered two jets and knocked down the World Trade Center, nearly razed the Pentagon with another, and crashed a fourth into the Pennsylvania countryside, having failed to direct their piloted projectile toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
So maybe universal healthcare coverage has a chance at becoming reality soon (no matter who is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue).
We're talking 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
In 1790, George Washington picked the site for what he called the "President's House," at what is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, D.
For example, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could read 11600, 21600, 31600, 41600 or 51600 on the advance letter.
A cherished national symbol that is part museum, part government office building, and part family dwelling, the 132-room mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.
A White House Cantata, drawn from Bernstein's uneven but biting Broadway show 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (a collaboration with Alan Jay Lerner), exposes sexism and racism in various presidencies.