What Are Some Interesting Features of the White House?

The White House, the executive mansion in Washington where the president of the United States lives and works, has 132 rooms on six levels and includes 28 fireplaces, eight staircases and three elevators. The White House has gardens, a bowling alley, swimming pool and a movie theater. The architecture includes 412 doors, 147 windows and 35 bathrooms.

George Washington selected the site for the first presidential mansion in 1791, but the British burned it in 1814 during the War of 1812. The present White House was rebuilt in 1817, and the South Portico was finished in 1824.

The floor space of the White House is 54,900 square feet, and it sits on 18 acres. The building is 168 feet long and 85 feet 6 inches wide; with porticoes it is 152 feet wide. The height is 70 feet on the south exposure and 60 feet 4 inches on the north. Painting just the exterior of the residence part of the White House, in the center of the building, requires 300 gallons of white paint. The East and West Wings require another 270 gallons.

About 6,000 people visit the White House per day, many of them tourists who can see limited parts of the mansion. To tour the White House, U.S. citizens must submit requests through their member of Congress; non-citizens must submit requests through their embassy in Washington.