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In July 2012, the National Park Service’s White House Visitor Center began undergoing a $12.6 million revitalization through a public-private partnership with the White House Historical Association. The Association's donation of $12.5 million for the project and operating endowment helped make this extraordinary public resource possible. David M. Rubenstein's gift of $5 million to the Association for the White House Visitor Center ensures center exhibits and technology will continue to be improved and enhanced in the years to come. The Center is operated by the National Park Service in historic Baldrige Hall in the Department of Commerce at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and has been free and open to the public since reopening in September 2014. The center includes a new flagship retail store for the Association, featuring new and treasured items that support the Association's mission of enhancing the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion.

Location Details

The White House Visitor Center

1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20230


  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day

Free Admission

The Association's underwriting of the architectural planning, exhibit design and fabrication, and media production have made possible a state-of-the-art visitor experience that includes interactive exhibits, a large-scale model of the White House, numerous tactile elements, a new permanent museum gallery, a temporary exhibit area, retail shop, visitor information facilities, and numerous opportunities for children and families to connect to the history of the White House and President's Park.

Included in the nearly 16,000 sq. ft. remodeled space is a new retail store run by the Association that supports the upkeep of the visitor center and the Association’s mission. The completely transformed visitor center affords an outstanding stand-alone experience, and provides an enhanced experience for those who take a self-guided White House tour. All new exhibits tell the story of the White House as a home, office, stage and ceremonial space, museum, and park.

Before 1995, the National Park Service distributed White House tour tickets and provided visitor information at a location on the Ellipse. The White House Visitor Center first opened in March 1995. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, White House tour tickets became available through Congressional offices and embassies. No longer a center for ticket distribution, the White House Visitor Center evolved to serve visitors' educational and informational needs. As time passed, the static exhibits became outdated and, in the late 2000s, planning began for a new facility that would include engaging, interactive exhibits.

Nearly 100 artifacts from the White House Collection are on view, some for the first time, including items like President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Desk, an Eagle Finial that topped the White House flagpole in the late 19th Century, and the Chief Usher's Desk from 1902 – 1948. Visitors will find artifacts enhanced by hundreds of images of the White House as Office, Home, and Stage. Integrated into the museum gallery are screens highlighting additional imagery and stories from the White House.

A beautiful theater space offers a new film commissioned for the visitor center, "The White House: Reflections from Within," which features personal stories from presidents, first ladies, and other members of first families across the years.

The visitor center was designed with a strong focus on accessibility for all visitors, and the project team worked closely with the National Center for Accessibility to achieve a fully accessible experience.

To learn more about the White House Visitor Center and to plan your visit, please visit the National Park Service website.

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