The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States, recognized worldwide as a symbol of the prestige of the
presidency. Built between 1792 and 1800, the sprawling 132-room mansion has been used as a home by every President since John Adams.
The East Wing of the White House principally serves as offices for the First Lady and her staff. The First Family's quarters, located on
the second and third floor of the historic White House, provide them with privacy and comfort away from the public spotlight.
The West Wing is home to the President's office and those of his top staff. On the pages that follow, you can learn more about the
President's office, the many state rooms, and the grounds and history of America's most famous home.
Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house,
he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and
his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the
President's private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.