White House, official residence of the president of the United States, situated at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The White House was built between 1792 and 1800 in a simple neoclassical style. Despite numerous renovations and additions since then, the White House has retained its classically simple style.
The White House has been the home of every U.S. president except George Washington, the nation’s first president, who selected the site for the building and supervised its construction. His successor, John Adams, became the first president to occupy the White House in 1800.
Throughout its history the White House has also housed offices where successive presidents have carried out the duties and responsibilities of their position as head of the executive branch of the government.
The building’s first official title, from 1810 to 1901, was the Executive Mansion, which reflects its dual purpose as a home and a place of business. At times the White House also has been known as the President’s House, the President’s Mansion, and even the President’s Palace.
However, it has always been popularly known as the White House. Theodore Roosevelt made this designation official in 1901, after he had the name engraved on his stationery.
The White House also is a museum of American history and art. The state, or ceremonial, rooms of the White House are open to visitors who make reservations in advance. Although visitors see only seven rooms, the White House remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington, D.C.