It doesn’t matter if you voted for the current occupant a tour of the White House isn’t about politics it is about HISTORY. This past Tuesday Jason arranged a tour time, then was able joined us for the “self-guided” wander through the 8 of 10 rooms on the first floor.
The White House is the oldest public building in the District of Columbia, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the most famous address in the United States. Every president except George Washington has conducted the government of the nation here but it wasn’t until T. Roosevelt was this building officially became known as The White House. In the early 1900’s, the Presidential offices, the West Wing and Oval Office replaced the glass conservatory enjoyed by 19th century Presidents families. The East Room, largest of White House spaces, includes the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. The painting was saved from fire, during the war of 1812, by Dolly Madison who smiles at him through a corridor of the Red Room.
Our walking tour was through several of the more well know rooms (on the first floor) including the Vermeil Room, the China Room, the Diplomatic Reception Room, State Dining room and the East Room. It was interesting to note the roll up the edge of the carpet to allow the visitors to walk through the rooms but not on the carpet. On display were a number of artifacts, portraits and lovely furniture.
Most rooms had a Secret Service person who could explain the features of the room and what kinds of events the room has had. Janeen chose the Grant China in the corridor as a favorite, but the China room and the Visitor Center display much more glassware and china purchased for the standing Presidents.
All in all an interesting tour and really glad we made time in our schedule to visit this place.
After bidding Jason goodbye, so he could go back to work, we walked back towards the metro stopping at Old Ebbitt Grill for lunch.
Old Ebbitt Grill is a historic bar and restaurant and is Washington’s oldest bar and restaurant. It opened as an unnamed restaurant in the Ebbitt House Hotel. The Hotel distinguished itself as the first hotel in Washington to remain open all summer instead of closing when Congress adjourned.
Since 1970, because of its popularity Old Ebbitt Grill has been frequented by numerous politicians, some known for scandals and maneuvering.
Known for its oysters and seafood it was a wonderful spot to stop and have a bit and a bottle of wine.
After our lunch we continued on to the Metro for our ride back to Springfield.