The Neoclassical White House Cornerstone Is Laid – 10/13/1792

US History |


In 1792, the cornerstone for a presidential villa was laid in the newly designed city of Washington. President John Adams who was the second President of the United States and the first Vice President became the first president to live in the executive mansion popularly known as the "White House" (because its white freestone color distinguished it from the red brick buildings of the surroundings) in 1800. 

Washington was created to replace the nation's capital Philadelphia because of its geographical location is in the center of the existing new republic. Initially, President George Washington chose the site. In other to achieve that, the States of Virginia and Maryland released land around the Potomac River to form the District of Columbia, and in 1791 work began in Washington. Pierre Charles L'Enfant the famous French-born American architect and civil engineer designed the unique layouts of the area, which includes lots of circles, wide avenues, public squares and parks. By 1792, work had begun on the White House building, which was located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue under the supervision of James Hoban, an Irish-American architect whose works were greatly influenced by the Leinster House in Dublin.

President John Adams was welcomed into the presidential mansion on November 1, 1800. The First Lady wrote of their new home saying, "Oh I pray that the heavens shower the best of blessings on this home, and on all that will live therein afterwards. May it be inhabited by only wise men"

During the war fought between the United States of America and its allies United Kingdom, North American colonies and its Native American that started in June 18, 1812, saw the White House and the United States Capitol set ablaze in 1814 by British Soldiers as a revenge for the burning of the government buildings in Canada by U.S. troops. Afterwards, the building was rebuilt, the walls stalls repainted, and the east and west terraces were added to the main building under the direction of James Hoban. By 1820, work had been completed on the White House.

President Harry Truman brought in major changes to the executive mansion during his tenure in office. In fact, after his tenure, Truman lived across the street for several years. For security reasons, the Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to vehicle movements, and now serves as a center of attraction for more than a million tourists who visit every year to behold the mighty work of art. In addition, the White House is the oldest federal building in the country's capital.

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Nancy Reyes

Senior Writer

One of our top senior writers, Nancy came to us wanting to break away from the politics that comes with major news corporations. She leads our team of historical writers in creating the best engaging content out there that keeps our readers coming back for more. She is an enthusiast of all things medieval and has been a member of her renaissance fair group for 15 years. She received her degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California and hopes to one day travel the world.