James Hoban, who was born in Ireland and studied in Dublin designed the White House. It was believed that Hoban patterned the design on the Leinster House in Ireland. The Leinster House is now the seat of the Irish Parliament .
In the 1800s, President Thomas Jefferson had architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe work on several additions for the White House. Later on, James Hobart added the porticos in 1824 as designed by Latrobe. The said porticos are similar to Chateau de Rastignac in France which was constructed in in 1817 .
The US President and his family, while living in the White House, do not have the White House services for free. In fact, at the end of each month, the president receives a bill for expenses they incurred like food, dry cleaning and toiletries. The total expenses are deducted on the president’s salary. The US President receives an annual salary of US$4,000 .
The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, has 6 levels to accommodate all the people who live and work and visit the White House. It has also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators .
The White House has been called many names before it has settled on its present name. Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, called it the “President’s Castle.” Other previous names were the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” The name “White House” became official in 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt officially adopted it .
On a weekly basis, the White House has about 30,000 visitors and 65,000 letters, plus nearly 3,500 phone calls, 100,000 emails, and 1,000 faxes during the time people still use it .
The White House has the following amenities :
-16 bedrooms and 35 bathrooms
– It is situated in a lot that is 784,080 square feet big.
– An attached garage.
– A central cooling, heat and fireplace.
– Five different levels, including a sub-basement for storage, a basement for reception, a first floor with meeting rooms, a residence floor with bedrooms, and a third floor with recreation and sun rooms.
-The East Wing contains a room for the first lady with an underground protection bunker.
The White House Honey Ale is the first ever beer to be brewed in the White House. It first started when President Barack Obama requested it and bought the home brewing kit using his own money. By 2012, it has added three brewed styles: White House Honey Blonde Ale, White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Brown .
The White House has sheltered the first family’s pets for generations where dogs are popular. However, some of the first family’s pets are quite unusual. President Hoover’s son, Allan Henry Hoover had a pair of alligators that crawl in the White House grounds. John Quincy Adams also had a pet alligator that he kept in the White House bathroom.
Calvin Coolidge is the most eccentric pet owner. Aside from his many dogs, he had a donkey, a bobcat, lion cubs, a bear, a wallaby, and a pygmy hippo .
On May 10, 1877, US President Rutherford Hayes has installed the first telephone in the White House’s telegraph room. The White House’s phone number was “1”. The Treasury Office held the only other direct line to the White House .