25 Curious Things About The White House You Probably Never Thought About

Posted by , Updated on July 28, 2015

The White House is probably one of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of architecture in the world. It’s a symbol of the world’s most powerful nation and it’s also home to the most powerful man on Earth. Needless to say, the White House has had its share of weird historical moments with equally weird additions and facts that most people may not be aware of such as hidden swimming pools and royal sleepovers. So if you’re ready to learn some interesting facts about the White House, we present to you these 25 Curious Things About The White House You Probably Never Thought About.


There is a dentist's office under the White House

Dentist officeSource: supercompressor.com, Image: pixabay

Actually, there is an entire strip mall underneath the White House with a flower shop and even a bowling alley (added by Nixon)

bowling alleySource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay

Before Theodore Roosevelt it wasn't called the White House. It was called the Executive Mansion

Theodore RooseveltSource: supercompressor.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

It was never built with a handicapped president in mind so when Franklin Roosevelt entered office the whole place had to be redone with ramps and elevators for his wheelchair.

wheelchairSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay

It didn't have running water until 1833 when it was installed by Andrew Jackson

Andrew JacksonSource: livescience, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The water wasn't piped to the first family's second floor bathroom until 20 years later in 1853

running waterSource: whitehousemuseum.org, Image: pixabay

FDR installed an indoor pool in 1933 to help him with his polio stricken legs. Although successive presidents like Truman and JFK used it, Nixon ended up laying a floor on top of it and using it as a press briefing room. And that is still what it is today.

poolSource: csmonitor.com, Image: pixabay

Ulysses S Grant added a billiard room in the 1870s

billiardSource: pbs.org, Image: pixabay

President Truman called it the Great White Jail and the Glamorous Prison. Apparently being the top dog can get pretty lonely

TrumanSource: theatlantic.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Based on the size of the State Dining Room and the chef's resources, 140 people could have dinner at the same time

State Dining RoomSource: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The White House was the biggest home in the United States until the 1860s.

White HouseSource: whitehousemuseum.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The original plans drawn up by George Washington and the DC city planner were significantly more elaborate

White House planSource: whitehousemuseum.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

There are 6 floors with 3 elevators

elevatorSource: ibtimes.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

As we said, George Washington played a role in the White House design but he never actually lived there as it wasn't completed during his presidency.

George WashingtonSource: constitutioncenter.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

John Adams, the second president, was the first one to inhabit the mansion

JohnAdamsSource: constitutioncenter.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

When President Truman almost witnessed the tub crash through the ceiling he decided the White House needed renovation (being over 100 years old). It cost nearly $54 million but saved the White House from being condemned (it was actually declared structurally unsound before that)

White House reconstructionSource: dailymail.co.uk, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Dwight D. Eisenhower had a putting green placed outside his office every morning

golfSource: cnn.com, Image: pixabay

You can choose from one out of 35 different bathrooms.

bathroomSource: politico.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1939 the British King and Queen had a sleepover at the White House with FDR. This was the first time a British monarch had visited America.

one does not simply have a sleepoverSource: wikipedia

President Bill Clinton had a jogging track installed during his publicly documented struggles with weight and health

joggingSource: orlandosentinel.com, Image: pixabay

In 1942 the White House received a movie theatre in what used to be the cloak room

movie theatreSource: whitehousehistory.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

It takes 560 gallons of paint to cover the exterior

White HouseSource: The White House: The Home of the U.S. President by Hal Marcovitz, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The design for the White House was chosen in a contest. The winner was Irishman James Hoban

White House designSource: scholastic.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

His design was influenced by the Leinster House in Dublin

Leinster HallSource: britannica.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Because the British burned it in 1814, very little of the original house remains

fireSource: constitutioncenter.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

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