A tour to Washington DC would be incomplete without including a visit to the White House. In fact, a tour of the Oval Office is included in most of the Washington DC private tour itineraries. Yet again, there are a lot of things about the residence of the US President, which you might not get to know with just a one-hour tour. Below, we uncover some of the unknown and fun facts about the White House; these are sure to spike up more interest in you when you visit the building in person.
The White House is More Popular than you Know
The White House is open to public and private tour guide Washington DC operators organize sightseeing all through the day here. In fact, the iconic building receives around 30,000 visitors every week. Aside from that, the White House gets about more than 50,000 letters, 100,000 emails, and 3,000 phone calls per week.
There is No Free Lunch Even for the President’s Family
Living in the White House does not mean you get all the luxurious amenities here for free – even the US Presidents get a bill for their and their family’s daily food and incidental expenses every month. Even the charges for dry cleaning and toiletries are added in the bill, the amount of which is deducted from the President’s annual salary.
The West Wing and the Lack of True Privacy
The West Wing, which was originally known as the Executive Office Building, was the brainchild of President Roosevelt built for keeping the official and the residential areas separate. It was not part of the main White House building until President Taft decided to attach it, so that he could engage in the day-to-day official operations more easily without having to walk across different buildings. There goes true privacy for the First Family.
Foreign Labor Was Crucial for the Construction of the White House
Thousands of European artists and immigrant workers from Ireland, Scotland, and Italy were involved in the construction of the White House. Historians also say that some of the lower-class laborers were African American slaves, and it is said that the main architect of the building, James Hoban, had three of his personal slaves put up for the work.
The Basement or an Underground Mall?
It is well known that there is a bowling alley in the White House basement, but not many know that there is also a flower shop, a woodworks shop, and even a dentist’s office underneath the White House.