America’s exhaustive and exhausting two-year presidential cycle is drawing to a close, which means that the White House will soon have new — or, at least, newly returned — residents. Spread across 18 acres, the mansion is 55,000 square feet, with 132 rooms, including three kitchens and 35 bathrooms. Still, the White House is considered modest compared to the official residences of some other heads of state. The property was built for one purpose only — as a symbol of American political stability. It has never been bought or sold. “In view of the frantic nature of many election campaigns, it is amazing that there has never been an interruption in the lawful exchange of residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” writes the White House Historical Association on its website. Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating on its market value. Zillow estimated the value of the property at $393 million. That, of course, includes a large premium for its historical significance.
The year that President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name. At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House” and the “Executive Mansion.”
The denomination of U.S. currency that features the White House. The bill is slated for a redesign in 2020, with Harriet Tubman, the former slave and abolitionist, replacing President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner. The reverse side, which features the White House, is expected to remain unchanged.
The number of Christmas trees decorating the White House in 1997, during the Clinton administration. The display eclipsed the Eisenhower administration’s long-held record for most trees, that of 26, which were installed throughout the building’s six floors.
The year the British Army set fire to the White House, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. The building had been completed just 14 years prior. The marauding Brits torched not only the White House, but other Capitol buildings, the culmination of a campaign of terror aimed at forcing the U.S. to capitulate. Before destroying the house, troops reportedly stopped to eat the dinner First Lady Dolley Madison had laid out in the dining room.
The annual yield that the White House, which has 15 to 16 bedrooms, would generate if it was converted to a rental or a B&B. That comes to about $5 million a year, using L.A.- based Gray Real Estate Advisors’ $90 million valuation. But Zillow’s annual rental estimate is nearly five times higher at about $25 million a year.
The number of days the White House is open to the public free of charge. American citizens can submit a request through their Congressional representative no fewer than 21 days — and no more than three months — in advance. The tours are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. By comparison, Élysée Palace, the French presidential residence, is open only one day a year.
The number of pieces inside Lego’s “architectural replica of the real-world White House,” which retails for $49.99. The assembled model stands 3.9 inches high, 8.8 inches wide and 5.6 inches deep. Lego’s version of the United States Capitol Building is twice as big and expensive. It has 1,032 pieces and costs $99.99.
The number of hours it will take expert movers to help the President-elect and his or her family transfer their possessions into the White House on January 20, 2017. While the swearing-in takes place, movers will remove the Obamas’ possessions. Former White House usher Gary Walters, who worked on five presidential move-ins, described it as “well-organized ballet choreography.”
The number of gallons of white paint it takes to cover the White House. The building first took on its current hue in 1798, when it was covered with lime-based whitewash to protect the stone facade from freezing. In 1818, a coat of white lead paint was applied.