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White House

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago



Historical Tour of the White House

Welcome to our online tour of the White House, the First Family's Home. We invite you to click on the links below to view the different rooms of the White House. The source for these pages is: The White House: An Historic Guide written and published by the White House Historical Association.





Image map showing the floorplan of the rooms on the White House tour



  taken from: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/whitehouse/virtualtour/flash.html




Rooms on the Tour
Click the links below to see the inside of these rooms
Blue Room | Entrance and Cross Halls |
East Room | Green Room | Library | Red Room
State Dining Room | Vermeil Room




Historical Tour of the White House

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 VR Tour of the WHite House



When was the White House built?

taken from; http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/glimpse/top.html


Construction on the President's House began in 1792 in Washington, D.C., a new capital situated in sparsely settled region far from a major population center. While Congress debated what to build and where to build it, our first president, George Washington, lived in three houses. The first two were in New York City. The third was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Finally, Washington decided to compromise. He picked a patch of land on the Potomac River. Both Maryland and Virginia gave land for the new capital. The land was on the border of the North and the South. (At that time, there were no western states! 



Washington, D.C., is one of the only cities in the world that was designed before it was built. First, Benjamin Banneker and Andrew Ellicott made maps of the land. Then Pierre Charles L'Enfant decided where to put the roads. Washington decided to put the Capitol Building on a hill at one end of the city, and the president's house on a hill at the other end. The history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district "not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac."


Thomas Jefferson suggested having a contest to decide who would design the building.  He advertised the contest in newspapers across the country. The building was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban  after a competition was held. He won a gold medal for his practical and handsome design.Construction began October of 1792 when the firat cornerstone was set. Extra pavillions and porticos (ornamental, deck-like structures with columns supporting a roof) were added to the White House later; they were designed by the architect Benjamin Latrobe (who also designed the United States Capitol).  Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in.


It survived a fire at the hands of the British in 1814 (during the war of 1812) and another fire in the West Wing in 1929, while Herbert Hoover was President. Throughout much of Harry S. Truman’s presidency, the interior of the house, with the exception of the third floor, was completely gutted and renovated while the Trumans lived at Blair House, right across Pennsylvania Avenue. Nonetheless, the exterior stone walls are those first put in place when the White House was constructed two centuries ago.


Improvements to the White House: In the 1850's, a stove was added to the White House; previously, food had been cooked in fireplaces. The first telephone was wired into the White House during the term of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881). Electricity was added to the White House during the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1893). ( Enchanted Learning)


Sites to Visit to Learn more











http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/life/video/index.html Virtual tour of white house rooms given by President Bush










Wow you've read alot. Now fill in the worksheet below to show how much you remember


The White House.doc 




Click here to go back to the Interactive Lesson Page

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