After months of speeches, debates, and commercials, Election Day 2012 is tantalizingly close to being a thing of the past. Of course, no matter what happens, the victor will take up residence in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Arguably the most famous house in the world, the architect of the White House is considerably less well known.
The White House was designed by the Irish-born James Hoban, who won a contest organized by President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (then Secretary of State). Kind of like “America’s Got Talent,” only not at all. According to the National Park Service, it is widely believed that Jefferson (himself an accomplished architect) submitted his own plans under a pseudonym. Hoban’s design (which President Washington altered a bit) prevailed.
But while President Washington helped organize the competition, he never got a chance to live in White House. President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the first to call the house a home. The official White House site explains that the Adams family (sorry) moved in to the still unfinished house in 1800. The house was burned by the British in 1814 and then rebuilt (again by Hoban). President James Monroe moved in to White House 2.0 in 1817.
Thanks for reading. Here’s to no more campaigning (for a while).
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