A look inside the White House, which has 132 rooms, a restaurant, and the offices of some of the most powerful people in the world

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisAmerica’s first president, George Washington, selected the site for the White House in 1791.
  • The White House, home to the president of the US, is one of the most famous buildings in American history.
  • While many have seen glimpses of the Oval Office and the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, there are dozens of more chambers and halls that make up the White House.
  • Here is a look inside rooms inside the White House, from the Red Room parlour to the residence’s private movie theatre.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is the most famous home in America.

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, the White House is the official workplace and residence of the President of the United States, and every US leader since John Adams has called it his home.

The massive building contains three distinct sections – the West Wing, the East Wing, and the Executive Residence in the middle. It contains six levels, 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, and 28 fireplaces. And it would take a whopping 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.

Read on to take a tour of the president’s mansion and some of its most notable features.


Here’s an aerial view of the north side of the White House.

The National Archives

And here’s what it looks like from straight above.

Google Maps

This detailed layout of the White House shows the prominent rooms, offices, and private quarters.

The White House by Cyprian Lothringer, from Around the World, Copyright Gestalten 2013

The West Wing’s entrance is marked by a portico.

White House

The West Wing contains some of the most notable rooms in the White House.

The White House by Cyprian Lothringer, from Around the World, Copyright Gestalten 2013

Among them is the Oval Office, the president’s main office. It’s the president’s formal workspace, where he meets or takes calls with with heads of state, diplomats, and his staff.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Oval Office contains the famous Resolute Desk, which dates back to the 1800s and weighs over 1,000 pounds. There are also several paintings, busts, and other decorations. Presidents decorate the office to their personal taste.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Right outside the Oval Office is the White House Rose Garden, which is used for special ceremonies and to greet distinguished guests.

AP

The West Colonnade walkway, also referred to as the “45-second commute” by insiders, leads from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden and to the official residence.

White House

The Cabinet Room is where the president meets with his ministers. It’s customary for the president to sit in the middle of the table.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On the ground floor you’ll find the Situation Room — a 5,000 square-foot complex where the president receives intelligence and crisis support. The Situation Room is run by staff from the National Security Council.

Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House via AP

Another famous West Wing room is the Roosevelt Room. The meeting space is often used to announce appointments and nominations of new staff members. It features paintings of both Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The office of the vice president is also located in the West Wing.

White House

The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room is where the White House press secretary gives briefings to the news media. The White House press corps’ office is located right next door.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The US Navy runs a restaurant on the ground floor of the West Wing, known as the Navy Mess and Ward Room.

White House

The Executive Residence is the central building of the White House. Here’s a view of the building’s South Portico steps.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

This is what’s inside the Executive Residence and the East Wing of the White House.

The White House by Cyprian Lothringer, from Around the World, Copyright Gestalten 2013

The first floor of the residence contains the Blue Room. The oval-shaped room, which the president uses to formally receive guests, features blue upholstery, blue curtains, and blue carpet. It has stayed the same colour since 1837.

AP

Also on the first floor is the Red Room, which serves as a parlor or sitting room for the president and dignitaries.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The East Room is the largest room in the Executive Residence. It is used for speeches, ceremonies, concerts, receptions, and dances.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The second-floor Truman Balcony overlooks the south lawn.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The East Wing of the White House contains the family theatre, where presidents and their families can see any movie they want at any time of the day — even before they come out in theatres.

Getty Images

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Amanda Macias.

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