Welcome to one of the most famous and powerful residences in the world. Every President of the United States has called this Executive Mansion home with the exception of George Washington. This historical residence has been called various names throughout history, from the “President’s Palace” to the “President’s House,” but it wasn’t until 1901 when Theodore Roosevelt officially gave it the name it goes by today: The White House.
The cornerstone of the White House was laid in 1792 and its first residents, John and Abigail Adams moved in in 1800 although the house was incomplete. It was badly damaged during the War of 1812 when it was set on fire by the British and endured several renovations and additions put into place by various Presidents. Although a major renovation project had taken place during Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency in 1902, the White House began to show a concerning amount of wear and tear in its structure by the 1940’s. This prompted President Harry S. Truman to commence an extreme amount of renovations where all but the outer walls were gutted and re-done.
Beyond being the home of the first family, the White House plays host to guest and dignitaries from around the globe. There are various annual traditions that each President has upheld through the decades, including the Easter Egg Roll held on the South Lawn, and the Turkey Pardoning in November.
Public tours for those already holding tour request approval are available 7:30am to 11:30am Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30am-1:30pm Fridays and Saturdays excluding federal holidays.
McPherson Square Metro Station (Blue, Silver, Orange Lines)
Public Entrance Fees
Entrance to the White House is free, however tour requests must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress and at least 21 days in advance. Tour requests can be submitted up to 6 months in advance and visitors are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as spaces are limited. If you are a citizen of a foreign country, contact your embassy in Washington DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.