Home to nearly every U.S. president and his family, the White House is arguably one of the world's most famous structures. But some details of the iconic building's history might be less known.
While the White House's address at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., is well-known, a less popular fact might be who chose the location. The Residence Act of 1970 gave President George Washington the right to decide, and construction began on October 13, 1792.
Although the earliest president of the United States chose the famous address, Washington never lived there. Second President John Adams was the first leader to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Adams moved into the residence while it was still under construction in 1800.
Today, the White House sits on 55,000 square feet and includes 132 rooms, 16 of which are family guest rooms. There are also 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases. According to the White House Historical Association, it takes 570 gallons of paint to cover the exterior of the residence portion of the house, excluding the West and East Wings!
So with hundreds of gallons of white paint needed every four to six years, it might seem obvious that the Presidential home should be called the White House. But the moniker came into use nearly 12 years after construction started, and it wasn't until 1901 that President Theodore Roosevelt made it the official name of the residence.
Roosevelt was also the first leader to use the West Wing when it was completed in 1902. Since then, this side of the White House has been used as the presidential office. The Oval Office, Situation Room, Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room, and press briefing room all reside in this wing.