AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
- The White House is an iconic center of power that has hosted presidents, their guests, staff, and tourists for two centuries.
- A few major renovations have expanded and fortified the mansion, but it hasn’t received a major overhaul since the 1940s.
- As a modern landmark, the White House is surprisingly small. These photos illustrate the layout, floor plans, and makeup of the building.
The White House has been a symbol of the US president’s executive authority since John Adams and first lady Abigail moved in 218 years ago.
The mansion’s iconic porticos, halls, and rooms have witnessed several administrations and countless guests, including tourists, celebrities, and heads of state. Past presidents have called it "the best public housing" and a "gilded cage".
After receiving either a high-profile invitation to an official event or clearance from a local representative for a tour, visitors to the mansion might be surprised at its modest scale, especially compared to the massive monuments and museums that sit a few blocks away.
In 2017, a few members of President Donald Trump’s private Bedminster club told Golf magazine that he called the White House a "dump." The president later denied this remark in a tweet. "I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen," Trump tweeted.
Former diplomat Chase Untermeyer, who worked in the White House for four and a half years, said the West Wing in particular "is a very small place." "It’s got three floors, but the footprint it occupies isn’t very much bigger than a house in a prosperous suburb," he said in 2015.
See the decades-old architecture and decorations that make up the historic White House.
The White House is considerably larger in reputation than physical space when compared to other major landmarks across the US.
An 18-acre enclosed area keeps the mansion at a distance from the public on the street in the heart of Washington, DC.
Screenshot Google Maps
From the street, it looks far away, but looms large.
- Check out the best messages on the giant wall of Post-Its outside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional office
- Trump says ‘I hope not’ when asked if the US is going to war with Iran
- Here’s everyone who has officially announced they are running for president in 2020
DON’T MISS: 24 iconic photos that left their mark on history