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The White House

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The White House

The White House has undergone four major phases of construction with its beginnings in 1792 and subsequent reconstruction in 1817 and renovations in 1902 and 1948-1952 (The White House-construction: website). In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt officially named the President's residence the "White House" (The White House-name: website). The White House is the oldest known government building and has undergone many changes including styles, rooms, and outward appearance.

It all started in 1792 when architect James Hoban worked with George Washington, and they decided that the new two-story structure would be made of stone or brick, enhanced by elegant gardens and lawns. In 1807 pavilions and terraces were added to the east and west sides of the main building (The White House-structure: website). The British set fire to the house during the War of 1812. The interior was destroyed while the exterior walls remained intact (The White House-fire: website). In 1815 James Hoban rebuilt the White House the same way it was first built (The White House-structure: website). The south portico was built in 1824. In 1829 James Hoban made his final contribution to the White House by completing the north portico (The White House-building: website). Also added were ornamental iron fences which surround the structure and running water was piped into the house (The White House-water: website). Next, Andrew Jackson creates the White House orangey in 1835 which is demolished in 1857 to make room for a new treasury wing. A replacement greenhouse was constructed on the west side, adjoining the state floor of the White House (The White House-greenhouse: website). In 1871 Ulysses Grant extended the White House grounds south and a great round pool was built on the south lawn. In 1873 another round pool was built on the north lawn (The White House-pool: website). Conservatories and greenhouses were removed from the west lawn and long windowed galleries were built on the east and west sides of the main building in 1902 (The White House-gallery: website). For many years business of state was transacted on the upper floors, but under Theodore Roosevelt, in 1902, a West Wing was added to provide an office for the president, a cabinet room, and other office quarters (Encyclopedia Americana 722). President Coolidge had a rooftop solarium built to create private space, as a new roof was added and the old attic was turned into a full third floor in 1927 (The White House-attic: website). In 1942 an East Wing office building was added to the east terrace, including a bomb shelter and a movie theatre (The White House-east wing: website).

There are many different rooms in the White House. The Blue Room has always been used as a reception room except for a brief period during the administration of John Adams when it served as the south entrance hall (The White House-blue room: website). The Vermeil, sometimes called the gold room, was last refurbished in 1991; it serves as a display room and for formal occasions, as a ladies sitting room (The White House-vermeil room: website). The Diplomatic Reception Room serves as an entrance to the White House from the south grounds for the family and for ambassadors arriving to present their credentials to the president (The White House-dip. Rec. room: website). The Library on the ground floor houses a large selection of books by American writers on American topics (Inside the White House 137). The China Room on the ground floor of the White House exhibits dishes used by presidents for nearly two centuries (Inside the White House 157). The Map Room, used by President Franklin Roosevelt as a situation room from which to follow the course of World War II, now serves as a private meeting room for the president or the First Lady (The White House-map room: website). The State Dining Room, which now seats as many as 140 guests, was originally much smaller and served at various times as a drawing room, office, and cabinet room (The White House-st. dining room: website). The East Room normally contains little furniture and traditionally is used for large gatherings, such as dances, after-dinner entertainments, concerts, weddings, funerals, award presentations, press conferences, and bill signing ceremonies (The White House-east room: website). The Red Room has usually served as a parlor or sitting room; recent presidents have had small dinner parties here (The White House-red room: website). Currently used as a bedroom for guests of the president, the Lincoln Bedroom derives from the time when Abraham Lincoln used it as an office and cabinet room (The White House-Lincoln bedroom: website). Designated by James Hoban, as a common dining room, the Green Room has since functioned as a drawing for small receptions, tea parties, and even as a card room under James Monroe (The White House-green room: website). President Grant added a billiard room between the greenhouse and the mansion in the 1870's (The White House-billiard: website). In 1909 the Oval Office and Cabinet Room were added to the West Wing (The White House-oval office: website). A heated indoor swimming pool was built in the west terrace for Roosevelt's poliomyelitis therapy in 1933 (The White House-pool: website).

There were many different styles in the White House. In 1992 the first major renovation of the White House began, as the mansion had become to crammed (The White House-renovate: website). Between 1948-52 they

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