As the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, took place yesterday, here are a few fun facts about the White House, courtesy of the White House Historical Association:
— The White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban and built in 1792 at a cost of $232,372. Today, it has 55,000 square feet and 132 rooms, including 16 bedrooms and 35 baths. It was the largest house in the United States until after the Civil War.
— John Adams was the first president to occupy the White House. He and his wife Abigail took occupancy on Nov. 1, 1800; one of his first additions was a vegetable garden.
— Other presidents added various amenities over the years for sports and leisure, including a tennis court, outdoor swimming pool, bowling lanes, a small movie theater, game room with billiards and ping-pong tables, jogging track, and a putting green.
— A central heating system was installed in 1837, when many people still kept their homes warm with wood or coal fires. Electricity was installed in 1891, and air conditioning was added in the private quarters in 1933.
— The White House not only houses the first family, it is also a museum containing priceless works of art and furnishings and a national monument that attracts 2 million visitors every year.
— On Aug. 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the White House in retaliation for an earlier burning of Canadian government buildings in York, Ontario by the United States. In 1990, 176 years later, scars of that fire appeared when white paint was removed from the walls during a restoration project.
— The President and his family are charged for every meal they eat as well as any toiletries they use.
— The first family, the President’s cabinet and staff aren’t the only inhabitants of the White House. According to legend, the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Dolley Madison and Abigail Adams have been reported over the years.
— Zillow estimates that The White House is currently worth more than $300 million.
— Contact Bushari Group Real Estate if you’d like to purchase this great opportunity!