The Presidency: A Republic's Palace

A Republic's Palace

At first George Washington and that singular French genius Pierre l'Enfant planned a "President's palace" five times larger than the present structure. But many Americans were opposed to such monarchical pretensions, so Washington acquiesced. When workmen came to him in 1792 with L'Enfant's grand design for a capital city in which the President's house was to be at the center, Washington paced the ground and set the stakes marking the north wall of the more modest residence designed by James Hoban, which Theodore Roosevelt would dub the "White House" in 1901.

The first occupant of the building was Secretary of State...

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