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  • In 1791, working with George Washington, artist and engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant prepared a city plan for Washington, D.C., reserving eighty-two acres for a "President's Park."
  • L'Enfant's original design for a "President's Palace" was approximately four times the size of the present White House. James Hoban substantially reduced the house's scale in the final approved design.
  • The White House was the largest house in the United States until after the Civil War.
  • The construction of the White House started in 1792 and it was first occupied by President John Adams in 1800. The total cost was $232,372.
  • On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the White House in retaliation for an earlier burning of Canadian government buildings in York, Ontario, by the United States.

Scars from the 1814 fire appeared 176 years later, in 1990, when white paint was removed from the walls in the course of restoration.

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