The White House -- A Living Museum

White House

The White House has been the scene of many events in the history of our nation. Here the President holds meetings that decide national and international policy, signs new legislation, and carries out the many duties of the office. Here, too, the President and First Family entertain guests and live their private lives, as every President except George Washington has done. Designed by Irish born architect, James Hoban, the White House contains numerous artworks and fine crafts from every era of American history.

The President's Oval Office oval_office is located on the first floor of the West Wing. President Clinton's historic oak desk was a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes from Queen Victoria in 1880.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats were held in the Diplomatic Reception Room inside2 . It is one of three oval shaped rooms in the residence and is furnished as a Federal Period parlor. The panoramic wall paper, printed in France, is entitled "Views of North America", and features Early 19th Century American landscapes.

The State Dining Room diningroom can seat 140 guests. The chandelier dates back to the 1902 renovation by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Long a favorite of the First Ladies, the Red Room redroom is used for small receptions and teas. The room is decorated as an American Empire parlor of 1810-30.

The Hallway hallway that extends from the State Dining Room to the East Room displays portraits of recent Presidents.

During State receptions, the President and his wife often receive guests in the Blue Room inside1. It is furnished in the French Empire style, the decor chosen for the room by President James Monroe in 1817. Portraits include John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.

The China Room inside3 was set aside by Edith Wilson in 1917 for displaying pieces of china and glass used by the Presidents. It contains china, glassware, or silver from almost every past President, and a portrait of Grace Goodhue Coolidge.

The Vermeil Room inside4 is used as a sitting room during formal occasions and also houses a collection of vermeil (gilded silver) bequeathed to the White House in 1956. On the south wall hangs the Aaron Shikler portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.