The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., it was built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the late Georgian style and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams. It was designed by Irish-born James Hoban. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the home in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades which were meant to conceal stables and storage.
On Saturday, November 1, 1800, John Adams became the first president to take residence in the building. During Adams' second day in the house he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, containing a prayer for the house.
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.
Franklin Roosevelt had Adams' blessing carved into the mantel in the State Dining Room.
Adams lived in the house only briefly, and the home was soon occupied by Thomas Jefferson who, despite his complaints that the house was too big ("big enough for two emperors, one pope, and the grand lama in the bargain"), gave consideration to how the White House might be added to. With Benjamin Henry Latrobe, he helped lay out the design for the East and West Colonnades, small wings that help conceal the domestic operations of laundry, a stable and storage. Today, Jefferson's colonnades link the residence with the East and West Wings.