As the main workplace and also executive residence of the chairman of the joined States, the White house stands as among the most famous, and recognizable, structures in the world. However behind its stately neoclassical facade, details of its building and construction and background are far less well known. Below, discover answers come six usual questions about the iconic framework that has served as home to all however one U.S. President.

Did Slaves construct the White House?

The U.S. Federal government didn't very own slaves, follow to the national Archives, yet it go pay slave owners to hire them to assist build the White House. Follow to the White House historic Association, Washington, D.C.’s city commissioners initially planned to soul workers native Europe because that the construction, which began in 1792 and also took eight years to complete. When they got small response, they instead enlisted the labor of both free and enslaved afri Americans to occupational alongside neighborhood white laborers and also craftsmen, add to a handful of europeans to develop not just the president's home, yet other government buildings such as the U.S. Capitol as well.

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James Hoban, an ireland immigrant and also architect hand-picked by president George Washington, design the initial building. After ~ the British collection fire come it in 1814, throughout the battle of 1812, Hoban led the effort to rebuild the structure.

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Where is the White House?

The White house is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., in Washington, D.C., possibly the nation's most famous address. Empowered through the Residence plot of 1790, president George Washington made decision the exact spot for the 10-square-mile capital, on the grape max River's east bank and near the Capitol building. Contractors laid the White house cornerstone ~ above October 13, 1792, v the Capitol cornerstone complying with soon after ~ on august 18, 1793.

Over the years, the executive mansion has actually seen multiple renovations, including considerable work by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, which included the surroundings of electric lights. In 1948, ~ engineers discovered the structure to it is in structurally unsound and unsafe for habitation, harry S. Truman notified a finish gutting the the interior and a total overhaul of the building's structure and also foundation. Truman and his household lived in Blair House throughout the street during the renovations.

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Who was the an initial President to Live in the White House?

Although Washington decided its location and architect, he to be the only president never to live in the White House. President man Adams to be the an initial to move right into the residence, in 1800 before it to be finished. Since then, every president and his household has live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Two presidents have also died in the White House: william Henry Harrison in 1841 and also Zachary Taylor in 1850, and also three an initial ladies, Letitia Tyler, Caroline Harrison and also Ellen Wilson.


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The key floor setup of the White House, attracted by F. D. Owen. 

Library the Congress/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

How countless Rooms are in the White House?

At 55,000 square feet, the six-floor White home boasts 132 rooms (16 are family guest rooms), together with 35 bathrooms. Follow to the main White house web page, it’s home to 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, 3 elevators, 412 doors and also 147 windows—and has a kitchen fitted to serve complete dinner for as much as 140 guests, or hors d'oeuvres because that 1,000-plus visitors. And also when it gets a brand-new coat of repaint every 4 to six years? the takes 570 gallons to cover the exterior.