While The White House is no Buckingham Palace, it does lend an air of pastoral grace to its somewhat monumentalized surroundings. Oddly enough, its first inhabitant, Thomas Jefferson, is rumored to have lost a competition he entered incognito to design it to an relative unknown Irish immigrant. He later made many structural changes but the building standing today bears perhaps little resemblance to either as most it burned down during the War of 1812. It was during this reconstruction that it was painted white and over time garnered its moniker.
The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Tours of the White House are currently limited to parties of 10 or more people, requested through one’s Member of Congress and will be accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided group tours will be scheduled approximately one month before the requested date, from 7:30am to 11:30am Tuesday-Saturday, excluding Federal holidays. For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. The National Park Service operates the White House Visitor Center, located at 15th and E Sts., NW, open daily from 7:30am until 4:00pm. Metro stop: McPherson Square
“All these people come to see the White House and they see practically nothing that dates back before 1948. Every boy who comes here should see things that develop his sense of history. For the girls, the house should look beautiful and lived-in. They should see what a fire in the fireplace and pretty flowers can do for a house; the White House rooms should give them a sense of all that. Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to ‘redecorate’ it — a word I hate. It must be restored — and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship.”
— Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy (1929–1994) from an interview on 1.September.1961 with Hugh Sidey of LIFE Magazine
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN Sadly we could not be among “all those people” who “come to see the White House,” that Mrs. Kennedy spoke of. With a newly housed administration, scheduling was not easy, despite our best efforts.
According to the official White House web site, the restrictions placed on visitors about what can be carried into the White House makes a visit there less than easy. Please consult the web site for full details.
Protesters (see photo #1) are always gathered on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the “People’s House.”
President Harry S Truman is quoted as having said, “The White House is the finest prison in the world.” Seen through the gate that surrounds the White House the official residence of the President of the United States and his family takes on a prison-like look (see photo #2).
As the center of the political power in the US, the White House looks approachable for tourists and onlookers, that can take pictures in the outside, and even for demonstrators that can stand in its front with banners with their claims. However, it is not easy to get a tour inside the House. American citizens should book the tour through their representatives up to six months in advance to the visit, while tourists should contact their Embassies in DC to help them with the booking. Tours are free of charge.
In case time or other constraints do not allow you to take the tour, you can visit the White House Visitor Center, on 15th and E St, which is open to the public and no booking is needed. You can also check on their website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours_and_events/ if there are other tours available (e.g. the Gardens tour) and if they are open to the public.
It was originally constructed 1792-1800, the work of James Hoban. It was reconstructed in 1815 after being burned by British soldiers during the War of 1812. It has been the home of every president of the United States since John Adams. It was pure joy to able to finally see this in person. I didn't stand in line for the tour because it was freezing that day and the line was soooooo long. Yet, it was honoring to see where the Presidents of the United States of American live. Such a beautiful building and manicured gardens.
White House Tours
The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C.
Tours of the White House have been expanded to include parties of 10 or more people, regardless of age or type of group, through one’s Member of Congress. Tour requests must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress and will be accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided group tours will be scheduled approximately one month before the requested date, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday
The White House Visitor Center is located in the north end of the Department of Commerce Building between 14th & 15th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
The White House is, of course, the residence of the President of the United States. As you can see from the photo, security is rather tight nowadays. Tours of the White House are still possible, but you have to schedule an appointment, normally through a member of Congress. Details are on the White House website. (Note: be sure to go to whitehouse.gov, and not whitehouse.com ... or you'll be in for quite a surprise.)
So, this looks like the official site regarding information on White House tours. It appears not just anyone at anytime can visit the White House. A request must be made by one's member of Congress in advance (at least 1 month and as early as six months in advance). Okay, so I wasn't sure how to look up this information. I started a search on the city and state where I live. Wikipedia had the information! I sent off my email to my congressman but the staff replied back that there are no White House tours available at this time due to the recent inauguration of the new president, Barack Obama.
The tour is free, self guided tours available from 7:30am to 12:30pm Tuesday through Saturday excluding federal holidays on a first come, first serve basis.
As a Korean friend once said -- "that's Bushie's Apartment!"... referring, of course, to the White House, located at the most famous address in America: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Construction of the White House began in 1792 and was overseen by President Washington. President Adams was the first occupant of the White House in 1800. It was burned by the British in 1814, but the exterior stone walls survived. President Madison moved into the nearby Octagon House, where the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1815 to end the War of 1812, and the White House was well enough restored by 1817 that President Monroe was able to move in. Legend says that the White House was not given this name until it was painted white in 1817 to cover the soot stains from the British burning, but the White House has always been white, and may have been named after Martha Washington's home called White House Plantation. In the late 1800s it was suggested that the Presidential house be moved to Meridian Hill near present day Adams Morgan (party!), but that suggested was rejected by Congress. President Theodore Roosevelt had the famous West Wing constructed in 1901, and President Taft had the equally famous Oval Office constructed in 1909 (the Oval Office is not located at the central front, south side of the White House as many think, it is hidden from public view in the West Wing to the left by the also hidden Rose Garden).
Behind the White House is a large public square called Lafayette Park, with a statue of Lafayette surveying the White House. The park has hosted a racetrack, a graveyard, a zoo, a slave market, and an encampment for soldiers during the War of 1812. The current configuration dates from the 1950s and features a central statue of President Andrew Jackson, flanked by statues of foreign Revolutionary War heroes: the Marquis de Lafayette of France, Comte de Rochambeau of France; Tadeusz Kościuszko of Poland, and Baron von Steuben of Prussia.
Just west of the White House is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building that was built between 1871 and 1888. It originally housed the Department of State, Department of War, and Department of the Navy, but they outgrew the space by the 1930s. Today this massive National Historic Landmark is home to the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Security Council. Tours are available on Saturday mornings with advance reservation.
Tour requests for the White House must be made through your Congressman, and are free of charge, but must be made well in advance, especially during the summer tourist season.
Our visit to the White House was limited to viewing the building from outside the grounds. The day we visited there was a small demonsttration on nuclear weapons which brought about a strong police presence.
When in Washington DC it is worth allocating time to view the White House as it is one of the most well known buildings in the modern world.
There are many other attractions within easy walking distance of the White House.
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the late Georgian style, it has been the executive residence of every U.S. President since John Adams. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the home in 1801, he, with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades which were meant to conceal stables and storage.
In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior walls. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed house in October 1817. Construction continued with the addition of the South Portico in 1824 and the North in 1829. Due to crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had nearly all work offices relocated to the newly-constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office which was eventually moved as the section was expanded. The third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events; both new wings were connected by Jefferson's colonnades. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946 creating additional office space. By 1948, the house's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were completely dismantled, resulting in the construction of a new internal load-bearing steel framework and the reassembly of the interior rooms.
Today, the White House Complex includes the Executive Residence (in which the First Family resides), the West Wing (the location of the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and Roosevelt Room), and the East Wing (the location of the office of the First Lady and White House Social Secretary), as well as the Old Executive Office Building, which houses the executive offices of the President and Vice President.
The White House is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. As the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the term White House is regularly used as a metonym for the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for the president's administration and advisors in general. The property is owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects's "List of America's Favorite Architecture."
The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States of America, and a top attraction in Washington DC. This building facade can be seen in several Hollywood TV shows & movies e.g The West Wing, The American President, Dave.
Visitors to the area often want to see the White House.
My son came with his baseball team to play during the summer. They played some local teams, and they also visited various sites in DC including the National Archives, and the Lincoln Memorial. One of the Dads took the second picture of the team outside the White House.
Then when the Queen of England came to visit the President, we went in to join the festivities.
The NPS website says: Public tours of the White House are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Tours are always subject to cancellation.
Operating Hours & Seasons
WHITE HOUSE VISITOR CENTER Daily; 7:30 am - 4:00 pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day
ELLIPSE VISITOR PAVILION Daily; 8:00 am - 3:00 pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day
home to united state's presidents for over 200 years. the white house is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. in 1790 george washington ordered it's construction and the building was designed by james hoban. in 1800 president john adams became it's first occupant. the building was burned by the british in 1814 and was re-occupied by president james monroe in 1817. theodore roosevelt changed the name of executive mansion to the white house in 1901. in 1902 roosevelt ordered the addition of the west wing to the white house. in 1942 the east wing was added during the presidency of franklin d. roosevelt completing the structure that is seen today. because of the events of 9/11/2001 to view the interior of the white house you must book a tour in advance. contact your U.S. congressman or for foreign visitors your embassy to arrange a tour.
The house of government, it's located near the Washington Monument. I think you can get some visitor passes (athought I didn't tried).
Heavy security is around the building and you get to see the front of The White House from far away! ;)
The Visitor Center opened in 1995 to provide extensive interpretive data about the White House and to serve as a ticket-distribution center (though that function is suspended indefinitely). It is run under the auspices of the National Park Service and the staff is particularly well informed. Try to catch the 30-minute video about the White House, Where History Lives, which provides interior views of the presidential precincts (it runs continuously throughout the day). Before you leave the Visitor Center, pick up a copy of the National Park Service's brochure on the White House, which tells you a little about what you'll see in the eight or so rooms you tour and a bit about the history of the White House. The White House Historic Association runs a small shop here. The association operates an informative website.
Walk through six permanent exhibits relating to the White House including the First Families In the White House, Symbols and Images, White House Architecture, White House Interiors, Working White House, and Ceremonies and Celebration.
The Center is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a thirty-minute video. Allow between 20 minutes to one hour to explore the exhibits. The White House Historical Association also sponsors a sales area. restrooms are available, but food service is not, but just outside are a lot of food carts selling a variety of goodies.
The second president, John Adams, was the first to live in the White House in 1801 - George Washington never resided here. Originally called the "Executive Mansion," it earned the nickname "White House" after its marble exterior was whitewashed to cover burn marks from damage by the War of 1812. Student and military veteran group tours are available with advance notice. The White House occasionally closes without notice for official functions.
It is the official home and principal workplace of the President of the United States of America. The house is built of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the late Georgian style. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. As the office of the United States President, the term "White House" is used as a metonym for a United States president's administration, the Executive Office of the President. The property is owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park.
the small group of buildings housing the presidency is known as the White House Complex. It includes the central Executive Residence flanked by the East Wing and West Wing. Day to day household operations are coördinated by the Chief Usher. Few people realize the size of the White House, since much of it is below ground or otherwise concealed by landscaping. The White House includes: Six stories and 55,000 ft² (5,100 m²) of floor space, 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, twenty-eight fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, five full-time chefs, a tennis court, a (single-lane) bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track, a swimming pool, and a putting green.