White House Visitor Center Rehabilitation and Closure Information
The White House Visitor Center is closed for rehabilitation. A temporary visitor center is located near the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, just west of the intersection of 15th and E streets, NW.
White House Fence Restoration and Sidewalk Closure
The National Park Service is restoring the White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue, portions of which are believed to date back to 1818. During this restoration work, sections of the White House sidewalk will be temporarily closed for public safety. More »
1934 - 1938 Tree Lightings
National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection/Harpers Ferry Center
In Lafayette Park, north of the White House, two Fraser fir trees were planted, in 1934, on the east and west sides of the Jackson Statue in hopes that they would be used in alternate years. President Franklin D. Roosevelt never missed the ceremony nor the opportunity to deliver a Christmas Eve message heard by radio listeners coast to coast. During one on the lighting ceremonies the President repeated pushed the button only to have the tree remain dark. Newspapers later reported the button pushed by the President actually signaled an electrician (stationed down a manhole under the street) to light the tree.
by C. L. Arbelbide
Did You Know?
Scottish stonemasons were hired to build and carve the sandstone walls of the White House. Painters then covered the walls in 1798 with a whitewash to keep water and ice from seeping inside the walls and breaking them apart. So it was white from the beginning.