White House

The White House is one of the world’s most iconic structures. Famously situated at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., this beacon of democracy and freedom serves as the both the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. It has functioned as such since John Adams assumed the Presidency in 1800. Only George Washington was bereft of the opportunity to use the building while in office. Washington does figure prominently in the history of the White House, however. Among other things, he chose the site for the stately mansion.

History

History
History

In 1790, an Act of Congress established the city that we now know as Washington, D.C. The main purpose of this city, as it remains today, would be to serve as the seat of the federal government of the United States. Together with the renowned city planner, Pierre L’Enfant, President George Washington went to task choosing the site for what would become the White House. A contest was staged to find a builder, and the winner of this contest was an Irish architect named James Hoban. In large part, Hoban modeled the President’s home after the Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland. There is speculation that the Chateau de Rastignac in La Bachellerie was also a major inspiration. Work on the White House began in 1792 and was completed in 1800. The façade, it is worth noting, is made of the same stone that was used to construct the Capitol.

White House Photo
White House Photo

The famous mansion has been altered and expanded on more than once occasion since its completion. On one occasion during the War of 1812, the White House was actually set ablaze by the British Army. This, as you might imagine, led to a significant reconstruction effort. Today, the White House boasts 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, and while it has undergone noticeable changes over the years, it remains closely associated with James Hoban’s original design. Thus, among other things, it is a wonderful link to the past.

Location

Location
Location

The White House address – 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. – is one of the most famous addresses in the world. This address puts the President’s home to the near north of the National Mall. The only thing that separates the White House from the National Mall is “The Ellipse,” which serves as a public park and the annual home of the National Christmas Tree. The National Mall, it should be noted, stretches between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial and is where many of the other most famous Washington, D.C. attractions can be found. Bordering it to the west is the Potomac River. As you can imagine, the White House and National Mall areas are major targets for tourists. Crowds outside of the White House tend to be biggest at midday and in the early evening. Parking is restricted near the White House and the National Mall, in which case most people rely on public transportation and walking when exploring the area. Tip: the afternoon light is nice for White House picture taking. Just remember that photographers are not allowed to use tripods when taking pictures of the White House.

Hotels Near The White House

Hotels Near The White House
Hotels Near The White House

Many Washington, D.C. visitors choose to stay near the White House and the National Mall. This is easy to understand. Nowhere else in the city will you find a higher concentration of major landmarks and attractions. The closest DC hotel to the White House is the luxurious the Hay-Adams. In fact, it lies just across Lafayette Square from the President’s house. Delightfully, the Hay-Adams Hotel’s slogan is “Where nothing is overlooked but the White House.” Plenty of other hotels that are found in the Midtown or Capitol Hill/National Mall areas can also serve the needs of those who wish to stay within close proximity of the White House and the National Mall. Prime examples include the St. Regis Washington, D.C. (pictured), the Sofitel Lafayette Square, and the Donovan House. The list doesn’t end there, so if you want to be able to walk to the White House from your DC hotel, there are sufficient options.

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