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 ParkPresident's Park,
c.82 acres (33 hectares), Washington, D.C. A unit of the National Park system, it includes the White House, the official residence of the president of the United States; Lafayette Square, 7 acres (2.
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, 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

White House

official residence of the president of the U.S. in Washington, D.C. [Am. Culture: EB, X: 656]
See: America
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

White House

1. the official Washington residence of the president of the US
2. the US presidency
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Contact President Bush at: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
We'd have to cast our vote for the State Dining Room in that big white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Credit President Roosevelt -- Teddy, that is -- with helping to turn it into what it is today.
(For example, the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, is northwest of the Capitol.)
It took President Bush only nine days after getting behind the desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to start working on an energy policy.
Declining stock values, the perceived collapse of the "new economy and a new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are among factors contributing to conservative attitudes in both industrial and consumer realms.
"It is a thrill to be able to say, 'We sell to the White House,'" said Schaeffer, who will never forget the day the call came from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
Soon we can expect to hear the predictable cries of victory from NATO headquarters and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., followed by war-weary Kosovars being led back to their burned-out homes and ransacked villages.
Just north of the monument, the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-456-2322 or 456-2200) gives free guided tours Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m.
"We never know what kind of sludge is going to roll out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave," California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman said on Saturday as he welcomed about 750 Democrats to a small ballroom in the Anaheim Convention Center.
WASHINGTON -- Soul diva Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at 76, had legions of fans -- including a bunch of folks from both parties who lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.