on the White House began in 1792 on a site specifically chosen by George
Washington. Its designer, an Irishman named James Hoban, won a design
competition which awarded the architect a gold medal worth $500 for
his efforts. The mansion's first occupants were John Adams and his family,
who moved into the still incomplete residence in 1800. John Adams was
father to John Quincy Adams and the grandfather to Henry Adams who lived
across the Square from the White House in the last nineteenth and early
Jefferson began a series of improvements to the Executive Mansion in
1807 while President with the help of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe.
The building has endured a number of changes since then, including a
near destructive burning by the British in 1814.
White House is a Georgian masterpiece, loosely based on Dublin's Leinster
House and James Gibb's Book of Architecture. Landscaping is based on
the Olmstad brother 1936 design for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.
While the mansion is referred to as the White House because of its white
paint, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who first used the name in
an official capacity. Prior to that, the building was simply known as
the Executive Mansion.
Historic Places Commemorating
The Chief Executives of the United States
More Presidential Web Pages and Sites
Online Books--Theodore Roosevelt