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Pictured here is the White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. It is the official residence and principal office of the president of the United States. It is also one of the most famous houses in the world.

Designed by Irish architect James Hoban, the house began life in 1792 as a neo classical style house built of Aquai Creek sandstone with a painted white finish. It was completed in its first embodiment in 1800, though it was as soon as 1801 that Thomas Jefferson extended the house to create and conceal stables and storage areas.

The house was burned by the British army in 1814 in the Burning of Washington, which resulted in the destruction of much of the interior. However, its reconstruction was swift and in 1817 James Monroe moved back it in its partially rebuilt state.

The famous west wing was created for Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 who wished to move all work related activities to this branch of the building and it was 8 years after that the west wing was expanded further which saw the creation of the world famous oval office.

Additional renovations in 1927 and 1946 saw it take the shape we know today, but possibly its most important work was the construction of a steel frame built inside its walls in 1948. This prevented the entire building from collapsing as its considerably old exterior walls and internal supports were close to expiring. This dramatic work involved stripping out all of the interior rooms to allow the steel frame to be built, then refitting the interior afterwards.

It is one of America's most prominent and well loved buildings.

The design for the White House came from James Hoban who was an architect educated in Ireland, and his inspiration for its style came from an early interpretation he came across for Dublins Leinster House.

Originally named Kildare House, the Georgian mansion was the design of Richard Cassells, built for James Fitzgerald in a manner to befit his high society status. When he decided to built Leinster house in the then unfashionable south city, it caused outrage, but it was not long before the wealthy and the elite began to follow, creating a new affluent area in the city. This was the beginning of the end for many of Dublins older Georgian areas at the time, such as Henrietta Street.

In 1776, the same year that America declared independence from Britain, James Fitzgerald became the Earl of Kildare and his palatial home in Dublin was renamed Leinster House. Leinster House was a building greatly admired in its day, and became a model for a number of buildings around the world. Hoban viewed plans for Leinster House just before he created the award winning plans for the White House. To view the houses side by side, you can see the similarities, especially the North Portico of the White House as pictured here.

Today Leinster House is the seat of the Irish Parliament and is regarded as the architectural twin of the White House.

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2757 W: 15 N: 6628] (23252)
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