Afew weeks ago I have the incredible opportunity to tour the White House with the local ASID Metro DC chapter. Tours are typically held on Saturdays and are self-guided. Within each room there are security guards that tell stories and share fun facts about various things. The Saturday that I attended my tour, President Obama and his family were actually at the White House, just one floor above me. Oh, how I secretly wanted to slip under the red velvet roping and head on upstairs…
In order to reserve your tour, you need to get in touch with your local senator or representative and they can schedule you a visit. Typically the wait list is a few months, but that depends on the season. Originally, our tour was scheduled for mid-December and oh, how exciting that would have been to see the holiday decor. Maybe next year…
The White House is the oldest building in the District and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the most famous address in the United States, of course. Over the years, the White House has been adapted, altered, or enlarged in some way to fit the needs of our changing and growing nation. After the British burned the House in 1814, it was rebuilt within the same walls, with only a few minor changes.
The tour consisted of 10 rooms and of course, my favorite was the East Room (ok, the Red Room was a close competitor). This room is the largest of the White House and is used for receptions, ceremonies, and press conferences. What caught my eye the most was the elaborately decorated ceiling and the gorgeous chandeliers, dating back to 1902. A fun fact is that the area rugs are intended to be a mirror image of the ceiling design. When the room is properly set, each area rug sits centered under the (3) divided ceiling panels. When we toured the room, there were chairs set up as there would be a special event there later in the day. At any given point, the staff at the White House has to be ready to transform the East Room from a public tour to a press conference in the blink of an eye. Now, that sounds stressful!
Since photos are not allowed inside (unless you have special permission), I was unable to capture my favorite details. I did snag someone to take this photo of me in front of the White House, immediately after the tour.
Have you toured the White House? What was your favorite part? Did you learn any interesting facts?
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