The White House

In this the city's oldest public building, virtually every desk, every sterling tea service, every silver platter, decanter, painting, and the floor covering intertwines with the historic events of the American democracy.

History   Despite the fact that Thomas Jefferson thought James Hogan's original design "bit enough for two emperors, one Pope, and the grand Lama" when he became the second occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1801, the third President built additional wings to house domestic quarters for the president and offices.  Today the White House looks modest, flanked as it is by the US Treasury, the largest Greek-revival in the world, and the Old Executive Office Building. (The bottom picture is the Eisenhower Office building. It is about two blocks long and a block wide in a very ornate style and is situated next to the White House!)  The British burned the White House in 1814, and the rebuilding that followed was only one of several renovations conducted over the years.

Works of art   The president's house holds an impressive  display of decorative arts from the Sheraton, French and American Empire, Queen Anne, and Federal periods.  There are carved Carrara marble mantels, Bohemian cut-glass chandeliers, Turkish Hereke carpets, and elaborate plasterwork throughout, as well as the gardens.  


The exact tour may vary depending on official functions, but usually open are the ceremonial East Room, with the Gilbert Stuart's 1797 portrait of George Washington, the Vermeil Room containing the 17th - to early 20th-century French and English gilded silver (vermeil), the small drawing room known as the Green Room. 


There is also, the neoclassical State Dining Room where George P. A. Healy's Abraham Lincoln portrait hangs, and the Blue and Red Rooms, known for their superb French Empire furnishings.

The White House was only two blocks from my hotel 

This is the Eisenhower Office building. 


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