The White House is one of the most prominent symbols of the United States. It is of course, the residence and office of the President of the United States. But just how big is the home of the president of the world’s number one superpower?
There are a total of 132 rooms in the White House, not including the bathrooms. Some well-known rooms on the State Floor include the East Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, Family and State Dining Rooms, Cross Hall, Entrance Hall, and Grand Staircase.
There are 35 bathrooms in the White House. There are also 8 staircases, 3 elevators, and 6 stories in total. Add in 28 fireplaces, 147 windows, and 412 doors to complete the estate, along with some fun extras: a tennis court, jogging track, movie theater, bowling lane and swimming pool. Running the country is hard work, but at least it comes with some nice recreational bonuses.
Bonus Facts to Arouse Your Curiosity
1. Did you know that the White House wasn’t always known as the White House? In past times, it was known as the President’s House or the President’s Palace, even the Executive Mansion. It was colloquially known as the White House ever since 1815, when it was repainted following an attack on D.C. by the British. The paint hid fire damage, but painting at that time was quite expensive, which made the White House stand out. It wasn’t until Theodore Roosevelt had “The White House—Washington” engraved on stationary in 1901 that the name “White House” became official, however.
2. The house was repainted again with a fresh coat in 1994. It took 570 gallons to complete the job, and taxpayers paid $283,000 for the work.
3. Only two of the six floors in the White House are actually open to the public. Two of the inaccessible floors are basements, and the other two are reserved for the presidential family.
4. Just as a reminder that the United States was founded on slavery, the White House was built by slave laborers as well as paid laborers from Scotland. The design was created by an Irish-American architect named James Hoban, and was the winning design in a contest run in 1792. At the time, George Washington was in office, but he never had a chance to live there.
5. The White House kitchen is staffed with five chefs, all of whom work full time. If needed, the kitchen staff can serve full dinners to 140 guests, and hors d’oeuvres to over 1,000.
6. Curious how full the president’s mailbox is? Around 65,000 letters are received in the mail each week, and the president usually is only able to read about ten of those personally. On top of that, he receives 100,000 emails every day, 1000 faxes every day, and around 3,500 phone calls each day as well. Around 6,000 visitors pass through the halls of the White House each day on tours and state business. Online, the White House has more than 1,700,000 Twitter followers, and more than 660,000 likes on Facebook. If you want to tour the White House, you can no longer just show up and request a tour. You have to place a reservation six months in advance. The good news is that the tour is free.
7. The White House is not architecturally unique. There are two twin buildings designed to look similar to the White House. One of them is a tourist attraction in France, while the other is actually the Irish Parliament building.
8. The White House had a swimming pool located under the press room, and was added by President Roosevelt for nonrecreational reasons. The swimming pool assisted him with therapy for his polio. President Nixon converted it into a press room, covering up the floor. The room was redesigned in 2007, and now the tiled sides of the pool are again visible, and carry the signatures of many famous people, including Bono and Laura Bush.
9. During the Civil War, the White House started to become overly crowded. At that time, there was only one wing, the East Wing. The West Wing was constructed in response to these crowded conditions.
10. The current Oval Office is iconic of the US presidency, but did you know there were other oval offices before the existing one? During the 19th century, several presidents used the Yellow Oval Room on the second floor as an office. President Taft also had a separate Oval Office which was constructed in 1909. The walls were bright green and were trimmed in the Georgian Revival style. President Hoover also had his own version of the oval office. It was President Roosevelt who commissioned the design of the current Oval Office.
The White House has received many alterations and reconstructions over the years. Like the country it represents, its legacy is one of ongoing transformation and reformation.