Friday, April 13, 2012

Mysteries of the White House




How many of us take for granted the beautiful building, the White House? We know the President and his family live there during their four or eight-year term. That’s a gimme. But like myself, I have never actually been on a tour of the house, much to my dismay. So I decided to learn more about our gorgeous White House and its surroundings.

When asked by Congress to select a site for a home to be built for future presidents, George Washington, with city planner, Pierre L’Enfant, selected land overlooking the Potomac River that could be viewed from the front door. Fields and forests surrounded the land above the village. The Act of Congress signed by Washington in December 1790, declaring that the government would reside in a district not exceeding ten miles square. Later Washington, DC borders would change.

George Washington called this Executive Mansion for presidents, the President’s House and it did not receive the name White House until 1902. Because of the necessary work on the house and grounds that had to be completed, the first president to occupy the House was John Adams and his wife in 1800. George was the only president who never lived within it walls. He died before the Capital was moved from Philadelphia to the village named in his honor.

The Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson held a competition in order to find a builder for the President’s House. There were nine proposals submitted to him and the winner was Irish-born architect, James Hoban, who was given a gold medal for his design. The building began in 1792, painted white of Aquia sandstone in a Neoclassical style

Small tidbits about the White House— (1) the first cornerstone was laid on October 1792, and (2) The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.

If you would like to read more about the White House, click on WASHINGTON . Then when you want to kick back, grab a good book and read.

6 comments:

Velda Brotherton said...

Gwyn, Thanks for the info on the White House. Liked the photo too.

Heidiwriter said...

Fascinating, Gwyn. I'd like to take a tour someday!

Arletta Dawdy said...

I took the tour at age 9 and remember impressions of its beauty. When my kids were young a large but miniature White House toured the country and we were all fascinated by it. Thanks for bringing it all back, Gwyn, and for the tidbits shared.
Arletta

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Arletta,

How wonderful that you toured the White House. I hope to be able to do that some day. Glad you like the blog.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Heidi,

You're like I am. Looking forward to the DC tour. Thanks for stopping by.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Velda,

Thanks for the kind words about my blogging and for stopping by.