The official residence of the president of the USA for more than 200 years, the White House is among the most distinguished buildings in the United States and was constructed on a location chosen by George Washington in 1790. Irishborn architect James Hoban designed the unique construction in a Palladian style and when it was nearing completion, President and Mrs. John Adams grew to become the first occupants. It has survived two fires, in 1814 and 1929, and the inside was utterly gutted and renovated throughout Harry S. Truman’s presidency, from 1945 to 1953. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt formally gave the White House its present name.
THE WEST WING
In 1902, the West Wing of the White House was constructed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White for a total value of $65,196. This wing (the West Terrace) houses the Cabinet Room, where government officials convene with the president, and the Oval Office, the place the president meets visiting heads of state. Many presidents have personalised the Oval Office in some way: President Clinton selected as his desk a table given to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1880.
The rooms within the White House are embellished in period styles and stuffed with priceless vintage furnishings, china, and silverware. Hanging on the walls are a few of America’s most treasured paintings, together with portraits of previous presidents and first ladies. The room that served as the Cabinet Room from 1865 for 10 presidential administrations (Treaty Room) was restored in 1961 and contains Victorian items bought by President Grant.