Weird History
2.5k voters

18 Facts About The White House We Just Learned Today

Updated December 8, 2020 20.0k votes 2.5k voters 103.5k views18 items

List RulesVote up the most surprising unknown facts about the White House.

The White House is one of the most historic buildings in US history. It stands as a symbol of democracy and has housed some of the most powerful men in the world, as well as their families and staff. But while we know a lot about what the White House stands for, what are some lesser-known facts about the actual building's history?

There are tons of interesting facts about the White House we never learned in school. Like, who knows when all the renovations have happened and what they entailed? And how has the White House changed due to technological innovation? These White House facts may be so surprising to you that you'll find yourself sharing them whenever you get a chance! Vote up the ones that truly blow your mind.

  • 1

    The Oval Office Is A Giant Scale

    From Redditor u/WarCollege:

    TIL that because the Secret Service aren't allowed into the Oval Office, they turned the floor into a giant, digital scale so that they can monitor where the President is at all times.

    Context: The Secret Service can't always be everywhere, so they've gotten creative over the years in figuring out how to keep the president safe at all times. Secret Service agents are allowed in the Oval Office if invited, but are usually stationed outside so the president can have privacy whenever necessary. When that door is closed and the Secret Service doesn't have eyes on POTUS, they have access to the president's movements through weighted pads along the floor that marks every movement. 

    Fun fact?
  • 2

    The White House Value Is Listed On Zillow

    From Redditor u/DrColon:

    TIL The White House is listed on Zillow and estimated to be worth $258 million.

    Context: While this particular posting was made years earlier, the White House is still currently listed on the popular home sale website. It is now valued at over $400 million and boasts 16 bedrooms and 35 bathrooms. 

    Fun fact?
  • 3

    The Guest House Is Bigger Than The White House

    From Redditor u/Lawlson:

    [TIL] The president's guest house is bigger than the White House.

    Context: The White House is approximately 55,000 square feet, but the guest house - used for visiting dignitaries - is even bigger. The Blair House is actually 70,000 square feet.

    Fun fact?
  • 4

    The White House Was Almost Completely Gutted And Rebuilt

    From Redditor u/SoyIsMurder:

    TIL The White House was completely gutted and reinforced with steel beams in 1949-50. It was only standing, in the words of the Public Buildings Administration commissioner, “by force of habit.”

    Context: The White House was almost completely gutted during the Truman administration. The historic building was reinforced with steel and fireproofed, which required a lot of destruction. However, to keep the facade and the integrity of the building intact, the construction team jumped through a lot of hurdles to complete the task - like disassembling and reassembling a bulldozer that couldn't fit through the door frames. 

    Fun fact?