In all of the USA we can say these three simple words, "The White House," and everyone will know what we mean. It all started in 1814, when the British burn Washington. It was by 1817 that the Executive Mansion was rebuilt and it's charred walls were painted white. So, it becomes known as The White house.
Historically The White House has been "open" for tourists and tours. These days it's not quite so readily open.
If you'd like to take a tour you'll have to submit a request at least three weeks before your visit or up to six months ahead of time.
U.S. Citizens apply through their Congress Members Offices and non-U.S. Citizens apply through their Embassy in Washington D.C. There is no guarantee that you will be allowed on a tour and some tours may be canceled without notice. Usually due to security issues.
There are a whole load of things, even cameras, that are on the prohibited list so be sure to check the website listed below before showing up at the President's gate because there are no storage facilities on or near The White House and if you have anything considered unacceptable the Secret Service will turn you away.
The White House is open for visits/ tours every Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon ONLY!
The White House is home to the First Family. The offices of the Executive Branch of the US government are found here also.
This is the home of every US president except George Washington.
It is possible to visit it but only from Tues. to Sat. 7:30 am - 11:30 am.
For American citizens White House tours are arranged by contacting the Congressperson, while visits to the White House by non-American citizens must be made through their embassies in Washington, DC.
These days it is difficult to get a view of the president's house without concrete bunkers and police vehicles. Pennsylvania Ave. has been closed to traffic again and large groups have been banned from Lafayette Park. So much for freedom of speech :(
When you think about it, the fact that the official residence for the leader of the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world is so humble and unimposing is really quite remarkable. The White House is simple yet elegant and reflects the nation's belief that the government serves the people and not the other way around. Regardless of what your opinion may be of the person occupying the White House at the time of your trip, leaving it off your itinerary would be like visiting Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower.
Some folks head straight up Pennsylvania Avenue from the US Capitol to locate the White House sixteen blocks away. If they do, they might not realize that the facade they're seeing is not the one generally familiar to the world at large. The park across the street (Lafayette Square) is more inviting than this particular facade. Head all the way around to the south side if you would like to see the White House as it is better known.
Another one of the very famous landmarks of Washington DC, is The White House.
This is the official residence and principle workplace of the President of the United States of America.
The building is a white neo-classical sandstone mansion located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC.
The architect was was chosen in a competition, and the winner was Irishman James Hoban. Construction began October 1792, and was completed in November of 1800.
The image of the White House can also been seen on the back of a $20 bill.
When this grand building was completed, tourists from far and near scarcely flocked to see the presidential residence in the fledgling new republic. By 2003, it appears to receive more visitors and admirers than any other building in Washington. True, many like to rest away their visits on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or the Capitol, but the fence around the White House (constructed in the 1960s) both north and south is flocked with tourists of all nationalities. The most famous facade is the southern, which is actually the farthest from the surrounding fence, the limit of a visitor's access without a tour pass. The actual front (north) facade on Pennsylvania Avenue is on the other hand not far from the fence. Visitors can spin in place to view the White House or the mouth of Lafayette Square opposite.
Back in April, 1990, when my friend Stefan came here from Germany, we took the White House tour. However, it wasn't the regular tour. The folks who got the regular tour were forming a long queue. Stefan and I thought that was our place too. However, we showed the guard our ticket and we were whisked to the front and given special treatment. The ticket Stefan and I got entitled us to a private tour which included more rooms. We happened to see Barbara Bush from a distance too. Now that we've got a REAL president in the White House again, such tours don't exist anymore because of the Secret Service overreacting post 11 September 2001. War or no war, the White House is still the people's house. You never can tell, one of these days I may live here and when that happens the tours are coming back I don't care what the Secret Service says!
Such a famous address!!!!!!
Pennsylvania Avenue runs between the White House and Lafayette Square. It was once open to traffic but after incidents threatening the security of the White House is was closed to traffic and there are now concrete blocks there.
Before September 11th there were tours of the White House, but when we visited no tours were available. It is better to check before you go in case you have to pre-book.
The White House visitors centre is situated in the Department of Commerce. The centre is open 7am -4pm daily.
The expanse of park south of the White House is called the Ellipse.
Here in front of the south side of the White House will you find the Zero Milestone, where all US highway distances are measured from.
Near to the Zero Milestone in the Ellipse is the National Christmas Tree.
Here in the Ellipse there is also a visitors centre which sells drinks and snacks, and also there are restrooms.
I imagine it is a must for some people to visit the seat of the President of the United States. I didn't visit it though, and in fact, it was not possible to come near it for security reasons. I don't think I would be interested to see it even if it stood wide open, but I can imagine it would be a thrill to many Americans to tour it. Anyway, I had to take a glimpse from a distance at least, just to tick it off my list and be able to say "I've seen the White House"... Silly, huh? ;-)
I can't tell you much about tours but you'll find all info and online tour on the White House website.
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
For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Its history, and the history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district "not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac." President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President’s private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.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. We encourage you to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge.