The White House Washington DC – See the home of one of the world’s most powerful people

It’s fair to say this is probably one of the most famous houses in the world. And it looks as impressive and as stately as you’d expect. And as brilliantly white. That’ll be the Aquia sandstone, plus the 570 gallons of paint it takes to keep the building looking pristine.

It’s an urban myth that the building has a secret laser defence system as well as anti-aircraft missiles on the roof. But there are beehives on the South Lawn. They don’t provide defensive services, but they do supply organic honey for state dinners and other official gatherings.

Take in panoramic views of the home of one of the world’s most powerful people on our Washington DC bus tours, or hop off to get up close.

Early days

The house was designed by Irish-born architect, James Hoban, in the neoclassical style. It was completed in 1800, and Thomas Jefferson moved in the following year. Every U.S. president since then has lived here, even after the British Army set fire to it in the War of 1812.


By the 1940s, decades of poor maintenance had left the White House looking tired. President Truman ordered a renovation. Following him, the Kennedys oversaw a historic redecoration of the house. No major changes have been made since then. But each President tends to modify the private quarters in some way – with each change needing to be approved by Committee.

Other interesting facts about The White House:

  • The building is 6 floors high
  • President George Washington oversaw its construction, but never lived here
  • It was known as ‘The Executive Mansion’ until Theodore Roosevelt called it The White House in 1901
  • There are 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms