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The Second Floor

When John Adams first occupied the President's House in 1800, the Second Floor was generally reserved for private and family use. President Adams kept a small office adjacent to his bedroom on the southwest corner of the house, but other early presidents chose to work in rooms on the State Floor. Around 1825, the two rooms that we now call the Lincoln


The Red Room

Benjamin Henry Latrobe's 1803 drawing of the State Floor indicates that the Red Room served as "the President's Antechamber" for the President's office and Cabinet Room next door. During the James Madison administration, the room became First Lady Dolley Madison's famous salon. A sunflower yellow, not red, dominated the room's decor. Visitors were received at her famous Wednesday night receptions in


The Ground Floor

The white marble walls of the Ground Floor corridor complement the vaulted ceiling arching gracefully overhead. Architect James Hoban installed the groin vaulting around 1793. Its sturdy construction withstood the fire of 1814. The vaulted ceiling seen today is a copy of the original vaulting built during the Truman Renovation between 1948 and 1952. One of the house's finest architectural elements, this ceiling was


The Green Room

James Hoban, the original architect of the President's House, intended that the space now called the "Green Room" be used as a "Common Dining Room." An 1801 inventory revealed that first residents President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams actually used it as a guest bedchamber. However, the next chief executive, Thomas Jefferson, did serve meals in this room. Jefferson


The Entrance Hall

The Cross Hall and large Entrance Hall are at the center of the original plan by James Hoban for the State Floor of the White House. The basic floor plan has not been altered substantially, although modifications have been made to the design and placement of the principle staircases. The plan is arranged so that the Cross Hall connects all


The East Room

Ascending from the Ground Floor Corridor, a marble stairway leads the White House visitor to the State Floor level. Off the landing to the right is the East Room. The largest of the State Rooms, it was designed by James Hoban and George Washington to be a "Public Audience Room." Second President John Adams and his wife First Lady Abigail


The Blue Room

The Blue Room with the Yellow Oval Room above and the Diplomatic Reception Room below it, form the most elegant space of James Hoban's plans for the White House. For the south wall of the Blue Room, he designed French doors flanked by long windows. An oval portico with curving stairs that descended to the South Lawn was included in


State Dining Room

The State Dining Room, which now seats as many as 140 guests, was originally much smaller and served at various times as a drawing room, office, and Cabinet Room. Today's State Dining Room incorporates the space that President Thomas Jefferson used as a private office. Tall and generously proportioned, the room had fireplaces on the east and west and was flooded


Architecture: 1790s-1840s

1790sThe Presidents House was a major feature of Pierre Charles L'Enfant's 1791 plan for the city of Washington. He envisioned a vast palace for the President, a house five times the size of the house which would be built. It was planned and constructed under the personal supervision of President George Washington.