The White House – Evolution, History, And Vaastu

It is one of the most popular buildings in the world and the place where the world’s most powerful man hangs his hat. The White House is a historical monument that houses the most influential leaders of the world including the President of the United States of America.

Aerial view of the White House
Until 1811, the building was referred to as the “Presidential Palace” or “Presidential Mansion”. Dolley Madison, wife of the US President James Madision from 1809 -1817, called it the “Presidential Castle”. The architecture of the White House is that of the Neoclassical style. It was designed by the Irish-born architect James Hoban and was personally approved by George Washington. The construction of the White House began on October 13, 1792; however, he never lived to see the complete structure as it was quite slow.

As it was built using Aquia Creek Sandstone with white painted stones, it later emerged to be known as “The White House”. The White House address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. – the capital of the United States. Built about 200 years ago, the White House hosts about 5,000 visitors a day and the chief usher ensures that the house keeps running smoothly.

STRUCTURE

The modern day White House consists of the East wing, the West wing and the Residence. The East and West wings – both are two stories high while the Residence is four stories high with a basement and a sub-basement. The East wing houses the Presidential Emergency Operations Center beneath it while the West wing houses the White House Situation Room beneath it. The basements of the Residence houses the various staff and maintenance facilities.

Apart from the Executive Residence, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and Blair House – the residence for guests, it also has 132 rooms with 3 elevators, several gardens and a tennis court, a basketball court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track and a swimming pool.

THE OVAL OFFICE

The name Oval Office has become associated with the presidency itself in the mind of people all around the world.

Being the official work place of the President of the United States, the Oval Office is carefully designed by several architects over time keeping the standards and security in mind.

The office primarily consists of three large south-facing windows just behind the President’s desk and a fireplace towards the North end.

It has four doors: the east door opens to the Rose Garden; the west door leads to a private study and dining room; the northwest door opens onto the main corridor of the West Wing; and the northeast door opens to the office of the president’s secretary.

Interior of Oval Office
VAASTU EYE

The offices of all executive staff (Political Affairs, Public Engagement and Intergovernmental affairs, National Security Advisor, Legislative Affairs) and the White House Situation Room – all are located in the South West direction of the building and the plot, which is the strongest point from Vaastu view.

The President, facing the North direction while carrying out the tasks, as well as the Situation Room where group decisions on world related events and International affairs are taken, is the strength of American democracy and policy making.

FLOTUS – The first lady being sitted in the east direction brings pride and respect for the country and she too, is honored for the same.

The entertainment and guest areas being on the northern side of the building is refreshing and considered good as per Vaastu. This building is naturally built good as per vaastu. No wonder America is the strongest democracy in the world.

The entire White House complex is in the form of rectangular grid format which is ideal from Vaastu viewpoint. People think creativity is disturbed when rooms have cut corners or are hexagonal shaped. Modern day architects don’t believe in it; however, this type of architecture (block formation) is very popular ever since the Indus Valley Civilization days. It comes as no wonder that the medieval age architects who conceptualized White House must have must have been inspired from the Indus Valley/Mohen Jo Daro civilization.

The basements being on the South West side, it can implicate huge revenue losses or financial deficits for American ex-checker. America will be the superpower but there will be a disturbance financially.

PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL MANSIONS

The Samuel Osgood house in New York, also known as the Walter Franklin House was the first Presidential Mansion occupied by George Washington from 1789 to 1790, which was later demolished in 1856.

First Presidential Mansion

The Alexander Macoomb House in Manhattan served as the second Presidential Mansion for George Washington during the year 1790 and was later demolished in 1940

Second Presidential Mansion
The President’s House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the third Presidential Mansion occupied by George Washington from 1790 to 1797 after which it was occupied by the following President John Adams till 1800. The main house was demolished in 1832.

Third Presidential Mansion

The house in Philadelphia was built in 1790s to be the permanent presidential mansion, but neither George Washington nor John Adams occupied it.

Government House – New York

The Government House in New York was supposed to be the fourth Presidential Mansion; however, George Washington never occupied it. Before the construction could complete, the federal government moved to Philadelphia and then permanently to Washington D.C.

House Intended For The President
ARCHITECTURE
Inspired from the Roman architects Vitruvius, the building has roots in the Palladian style architecture.

Palladio was an Italian architect of the Renaissance who had a considerable influence on the Western architecture.

The architect James Hoban won the architecture competition put forward by the then President George Washington in the 1790s. The design competition received nine proposals,followed by which President Washington visited Charleston, South Carolina and saw James’ work on Charleston County Courthouse

which was under construction at the time. On July 16, 1792, the President along with the federal government quickly selected Hoban’s submission.

STRUCTURE

John Adams became the first president to occupy the residence in the building on November 1, 1800. He wrote a letter to his wife Abigail on his second day in the house which contained a prayer for the house. He wrote:

I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.
EXTENSIONS AND ALTERATIONS

There have been many alterations and extensions to the original plan of the White House. Due to crowding within the executive mansion, President Theodore Roosevelt moved all the offices to the West Wing in 1901. Then President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office. The third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927.

Under President Harry S. Truman the interior rooms were completely dismantled and a new internal load-bearing steel frame constructed inside the walls.

Today, the White House Complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President’s staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence.

The White House is at least two centuries old and in the tradition of all old houses has collected a fair dusting of spirits along with antiques. Even Winston Churchill was not spared the sight of the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. He refused to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom ever again.Well, his reaction was considerably better than that of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

She fell into a dead faint when she heard a knock on the door and opened it to find Lincoln standing there.

The ghost of Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison, also appears in the Rose Garden, which she planted. There is a ghost of President Andrew Jackson too.

RESTORATIONS
Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy oversaw the last major extensive and historic redecoration of the house. Different periods of the early republic and world history were selected as a theme for each room: the Federal style for the Green Room, French Empire for the Blue Room, American Empire for the Red Room, Louis XVI for the Yellow Oval Room, and Victorian for the president’s study, renamed the Treaty Room.

Since the Kennedy restoration, every presidential family has made some changes to the private quarters of the White House, provided the changes are approved by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

The White House is not only a residence it houses the memories and aspirations of a nation. Its design and façade are now as much a symbol of USA as the star spangled banner.

Source: www.urbanvaastu.com

During the world war of 1812, the White House was set on fire by British troops during the burning of Washington, in retaliation for the American attack on the city of York in Ontario, Canada, in June 1812. Apart from the exterior walls, everything was heavily damaged, so it had to be reconstructed because of the weakening of fire and the subsequent exposure to the elements.