The White House is part of a national park and encompasses 18 acres with 132 rooms, including 16-family guest rooms, 5 kitchens, and 35 bathrooms with an area of approximately 100,000 square feet over 6 floors. The city’s planner, Pierre L’Enfant, envisioned the house four times larger than what actually stands. President George Washington worked closely with the architect James Hoban to add certain carvings and architectural details but never got to live in the White House. Washington retired from office before the White House was ready for occupancy. President and Mrs. John Adams had the privilege of being the first to live in the mansion.
Self-guided tours of the White House are arranged through one's member of Congress and can be arranged up to six months in advance. If you are a citizen of a foreign country, contact your embassy in Washington for assistance. Twice yearly in the spring and the fall the White House gardens are open for public tours on a first-come, first-serve basis. The annual White House Easter Egg Roll for children ages 13 and under takes place on the White House grounds Easter Monday. An online lottery gives people an opportunity to apply. Don't plan to visit Washington, DC anytime soon? Take an interactive tour of the White House right now.