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Aug 19, 2019 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association has just released a new podcast episode of its monthly series, the 1600 Sessions, in which philanthropist David Rubenstein guest hosts a conversation with Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association about White House history.

Rubenstein is founder of the David M. Rubenstein Center for White House History, the Association's institute for White House research and education. Established in 2010, the center offers resources for learners of all ages that enhance the understanding of the Executive Mansion. In this episode, Rubenstein speaks with McLaurin about the founding of the White House, the creation of its collection and changes that have been made to the House over time.

“As the president’s staff grew, that West Wing added an upper level and a lower level, and a one-lane bowling alley was added on the ground floor or the basement floor of the White House, which still exists today,” McLaurin said. “There are projects underway all the time, usually in the late summer, when the president and first lady are away, major projects are undertaken to keep the house as it should be.”

Watch a video of this episode on the White House Historical Association’s website here.

This episode features more than 50 White House facts, including information on the layout of the Executive Mansion.

“The White House has six floors. There are two floors as you look at it from the north side, there’s an additional floor on top which you cannot see, and then there’s a sub-basement, and then there are two little mezzanines. So in all, there are six floors,” McLaurin said. “There are 132 rooms in the main White House. Now we have the East Wing and we have the West Wing, and those rooms are constantly changing.”

The 1600 Sessions

In this podcast series, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews luminaries, historians, and eyewitnesses to history about America’s most famous residence and office—the White House. Each episode includes a prominent guest or guests to discuss varying facets of White House history, including insights from former staff and many other topical issues.

The 1600 Sessions is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

To hear the full episode, visit

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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