Along with your telephone number, your address is one of the first pieces of information that most kids memorize when they start school. After all, if you miss the bus, it's important to be able to tell a school employee where you live.
When it comes to addresses, most people know their own address and maybe a few others, such as those of close friends and family members. But there's another address that many kids know from their study of history: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
Do you recognize it? If so, you know who lives there: the President of the United States of America. You probably also know the color of the house he lives in. That's right! We're talking about the White House, of course!
Although founding father and first president George Washington selected the site where the White House would be built, he never got to live in it. The cornerstone for the building was set in 1792, when construction began based upon Irish-American architect James Hoban's design.
After eight years of construction, President John Adams finally moved into the White House in 1800 before it was even completely finished. After the British set fire to the building during the War of 1812, James Hoban restored and rebuilt the White House, and President James Monroe moved into the finished building in 1817.
More than just the home of the President of the United States and his family, the White House is many things to many people. It's a symbol of the nation's belief in liberty and democracy, as well as a popular tourist attraction. It has hosted many presidents, as well as leaders from all over the world for state dinners, official visits, and even important negotiations. It's a museum of American history where history continues to be made on a daily basis.
Its classic, stately architecture makes the White House a well-known landmark recognizable around the world. And what a house it is! The White House features 132 rooms spread across six different levels. Amongst those rooms you'll find 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators.
It hasn't always been known as the White House, though. Early names included the President's Palace, the President's House, and even the Executive Mansion. It was President Theodore Roosevelt who gave it its current and official name in 1901.
So how much paint does it take to make the White House so white? A lot! When the White House was repainted in 1994, it took 570 gallons of white paint that totaled more than $283,000!
In addition to the bedrooms and offices you'd expect to find in the White House, you'll also find some other unique features. When the president or his family wants to have some fun, they can use the tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, or bowling lane!