Rooms You Never Knew Existed In The White House

Voting Rules
Vote up the White House rooms you'd most like to visit.

If there's anything to take away from former or current White House officials, it's that the United States government operates under a thick veil of secrecy. The stories of the White House's mysterious rooms prove that even the president's home isn't immune to the confidentiality that shrouds DC politics. The Lincoln Bedroom, the Blue Room, and the Situation Room are among the more famous sections of the White House. But there are lesser-known White House rooms that are often overlooked, mainly because the focus is on the splendor of the Queens' Bedroom or the historical and political significance of the Oval Office. However, don't let their obscurity fool you; the less-talked-about rooms are just as interesting as their more famous counterparts. And a few of them are even downright bizarre.

So, you're no longer restricted to staying on the plastic runner or behind the velvet rope, as these stories provide an up-close look at some of the White House rooms you never knew existed.

  • 1
    467 VOTES

    Chocolate Shop

    Chocolate Shop
    Photo: White House (Samantha Appleton) / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Chocolate Shop is a small kitchen located in the basement of the White House and is used for making all types of chocolate treats for large events and dinners. Over the years, several other sweet additions have been built, including a pastry kitchen devoted to the making of cakes, cookies, pies, and other flaky, dough-laden goodies.

    The Chocolate Shop is especially busy around Easter, when the White House Easter Egg Roll takes place; confectioners prepare massive chocolate bunnies, eggs, and other seasonally themed treats for attendees to enjoy. 

    467 votes
  • 2
    455 VOTES

    Family Theater

    Family Theater
    Photo: White House (Pete Souza) / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The White House's Family Theater is a 42-seat movie theater in the East Wing. Originally a cloakroom, the space was transformed into a screening room by Franklin Roosevelt in 1942. Four overstuffed armchairs can be found in front of the theater-style seating, reserved for the president and the First Family.

    Despite the lack of a dedicated room, the tradition of White House movie showings began well before 1942; the now-reviled silent film Birth of a Nation was screened in the Central Hall in 1915.

    All First Families have put the Family Theater to good use since it was built. President Trump's first movie screening was Finding Dory.  

    455 votes
  • 3
    438 VOTES


    Photo: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    William Howard Taft erected the Solarium as a cool and comfortable place for the First Family to sleep on hot summer nights. Also called the Sky Room or the Sun Room, the Solarium has been remodeled a few times over the years, and has been a favorite spot for many presidents. JFK's daughter Caroline even attended school in the Solarium.

    In 1974, Nixon called a family meeting in the Solarium to inform them of his decision to resign. In 1981, First Lady Nancy Reagan was in the Solarium when she learned her husband had been shot.

    438 votes
  • 4
    397 VOTES

    Bowling Alley

    Bowling Alley
    Photo: The Nixon Library / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    This incredible one-lane bowling alley was built in the White House basement at the request of the Nixons in 1969. As it turns out, both President Nixon and the first lady were massive bowling enthusiasts. Originally, President Truman had a bowling alley built in 1947; however, since Truman wasn't a big bowler, the alley was replaced with a mimeograph room. Today, the same space is utilized as the Situation Room.

    The current bowling alley may be small, but it is insanely popular. In the first three years of the Obama presidency alone, the White House visitor log recorded more than 4,100 visitors to the bowling alley.

    397 votes
  • 5
    339 VOTES

    Music Room

    Music Room
    Photo: Bob McNeely and White House Photograph Office / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    As a birthday gift for Bill Clinton during his presidency, First Lady Hillary transformed what was a third-floor bedroom into a place where her husband could practice his saxophone. Before that, the room had a few different uses. For many years, it was just a sitting room. During the Kennedy administration, JFK, Jr., attended preschool in the room.

    Over a decade later, Gerald Ford's son Jack used it as his bedroom.

    339 votes
  • 6
    342 VOTES

    Vermeil Room

    Vermeil Room
    Photo: White House / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Also known as the Gold Room, the Vermeil Room is one of the most formal areas of the White House. This space displays the White House's collection of antique vermeils (AKA gold-plated silver) gifted by Margaret Thompson Biddle in 1956. The room is also sometimes referred to as "The Room of First Ladies" since many of their official portraits adorn the walls.

    The Vermeil Room is decorated with antique furniture, a cut-glass chandelier, and an elaborate Turkish rug, and is sometimes utilized as a "ladies sitting room" for certain formal events.

    342 votes