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.
1939 - 1940 Tree Lightings
The site for the tree lighting tradition came full circle when the ceremony returned to the Ellipse in 1939. Each of these two years, live red cedar trees were transplanted from land near George Washington's home in Mount Vernon to the Ellipse. At the 1940 ceremony President Franklin D. Roosevelt prefaced his prepared remarks with an announcement that if it was desirable he and Mrs. Roosevelt would like the celebration moved to the South Lawn of the White House grounds next year remarking that such a shift in locale would make for a "more homey" celebration.
by C. L. Arbelbide
January 6, 2001
Did You Know?
On March 13, 1995, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton officially cut the ribbon with assistance of National Park Service Director Roger G. Kennedy and National Park Service, National Capital Region Director, Robert Stanton to open the new White House Visitor Center.