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Monday, April 10, 2017

Touring the White House in Washington, D.C.

Americans wishing to visit the White House start the process with their US Representative or Senator.  I followed all the directions listed for ticket requests at Representative Paul Tonko's website and then waited patiently.  The White House Visitors Office sent me an email with the date and time of our tour, along with a list of items are and are not allowed in the White House.

Foreign visitors are directed to contact their embassies in Washington, D.C. for help with their tour requests.

Eric took this selfie during
our walk to the Visitors
Entrance on a cold & day.

Eric and I arrived at the Visitors Entrance early.

A shot of tourists waiting
to enter the White House.

After showing our identification & going through security, Eric and I entered the "The People's House," built from 1792 to 1800 by a workforce that consisted largely of slaves.  Every president since John Adams has lived here.

Quick Facts: The White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms.  There are 28 fire places, eight staircases and 3 elevators in this multi-use building that houses the President's family and is the Executive Branch's workplace.

Here's a map that shows the rooms that are open for tours.  Visitors are encouraged to take pictures throughout the self guided tour.

Eric & me in front of the

Eric and I toured the White House with our children, Adam and Diane, in 1989.  Tours at that time were guided and we learned about the details and history of each room as we stopped to admired them.  I used the internet to describe the rooms and the historic events that happened in them.  

The Vermeil Room, sometimes
called The Gold Room, is used
as a Ladies Sitting Room
during formal functions.

19th century furniture in this room sit atop a Turkish carpet, made in 1860.

The 80 foot long East Room
has few furnishings.

It is used for large gatherings:
state dinners, receptions,
 concerts, weddings...

Since 1812, Presidents and First Ladies watched family members and friends exchange vows in this room.  Here's the list.

Portraits of George Washington

oversee functions in this room.

Eric in the Green Room,
furnished with early 19th
century furniture.

Used as a dining room by President Thomas Jefferson and as a parlor by drawing room by John President Quincy Adams.  President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, shared their grief in this room after their 11 year old son, Willie died died of Typhoid Fever.  He lay in a flower covered metal coffin as his parents received friends offering condolences.

Eric took this picture in
front of The Great Seal,
above the doorway to
The Blue Room.

The oval shaped Blue Room
is often used for receptions.

President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsum in this room on June 2, 1886.

beneath a French chandelier
was chosen by President 

During the holiday season, the largest Christmas tree is displayed in this room.

In front of the painting
Kennedy, near the
Red Room.

Early 19th century furniture has
been arranged to encourage small
group conversations in
The Red Room.

First Lady Dolley Madison welcomed people at her fashionable "Wednesday Night Receptions" here. During the Lincoln Administration, this space was used as a waiting room for the adjacent Cabinet Room.

President Rutherford B. Hayes was given the oath of office secretly in this room on March 3, 1877. Inauguration Day fell on a Sunday and the early swearing in assured there was no gap in presidential leadership.

"grown" over the years.

The original, smaller space was used as a drawing room, an office and Cabinet Room.

The first photograph ever taken of a president and his advisers was taken in this room of President James K. Polk and his Cabinet in 1846.

A staircase was removed to enlarge The State Room in 1902, allowing presidents to host as many as 140 guests at events.

Presidents & their families ate
until one was completed in The
 It is used for working lunches, small formal dinners and sometimes as a staging area for state dinners.  The Family Dining Room refurbished in 2015 was added to the White House Tour. Modern art is featured in this room.

CNN's stories on The Family Residence: November 2, 2016 and January 5, 2017

The last area on the tour is the Entrance Hall.  This large room was designed to impress guests to the "Peoples House."  It does its job well.

A portrait of President
French settee at the east
 end of the large foyer

This Steinway Grand Piano was
a gift to President Franklin
D. Roosevelt from the
Steinway family.

A portrait of President
above a matching settee on
 the west end of the room.
Eric took these selfies on The North Portico, as we left the White House:

This shot has the Eisenhower
 in the background.

Tulips line the front of
The North Portico.

A fountain, ringed with flowers,

I must write a note to Representative Tonko to thank him for helping us get tickets for the White House Tour.

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