As you must very well know, the White House is where the serving President of the U.S and family resides. The white house spans 55,000 square feet, has six stories, boasts of over 132 rooms and has 35 bathrooms.
Apart from the current president and family, other people reside there. Guests of the first family can also stay here and there are 16 guest bedrooms.
If you have ever been curious about the many rooms in what stands as one of the largest homes in the U.S, then you are on the right page. But you should know right away that a lot of the bedrooms are not in use unless there are guests of the first family visiting.
The Obama administration in a bid to promote transparency between the White House and U.S citizens, allowed normal people to be guests of the White house and stay in one of the historic rooms for a few nights.
Such guests are provided with special passes and passwords to enable them have access to some places and explore the halls of the White House during a stipulated time.
How Many Bedrooms Are In The White House Residence?
The White House has 16 guest bedrooms. Most of the bedrooms are usually empty except when the First Family has guests visiting.
What Bedrooms Are In The White House?
As we pointed out earlier, the White House has many rooms and a lot of these rooms have so much history. In fact, some of the names that the bedrooms are known by, were gotten from their history.
We will now take a look at two of the most popular bedrooms in the White House.
1. The Lincoln Bedroom
As you must have guessed, the Lincoln Bedroom is named after President Abraham Lincoln. With the amount of renovation that the room has experienced, the former president is sure to recognize it if he were to walk into it.
For instance, window cornices and mantles were used. The bed in the room, although not the one Lincoln slept in, has features that are common with beds at that time. Some of the furniture in the room are from Lincoln’s time as president and there are even authentic pieces from his administration that can be found in the room.
The bathroom attached to this room was not originally there. It was added during the renovation of a lot of rooms in the White house by the Truman Administration. The bathroom for the Lincoln’s bedroom has a mirrored dome ceiling light and a large tub.
2. The Queen’s Bedroom
If you are wondering whether some Queen’s have stayed in the room, the answer is yes. They include Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Sofia of Spain, as well as Queen Sonja of Norway.
Overlooking the North Lawn, this beautiful room has white carpets, pink walls, and different portraits mounted on the wall. It has a Federalist style decor and gives a New England feel.
Attached to the Queen’s bedroom is a sitting room and of course a bathroom. The bathroom has a shower, tub and Jacuzzi.
What Other Rooms Does The White House Have?
Apart from the many bedrooms in the White House, there are also quite a number of rooms that not a lot of persons know about.
If you want to know more about these rooms, then keep reading.
1. The Chocolate Shop
We will begin with the Chocolate shop because everyone loves desserts.
The White House has a lot of occupants apart from the first family. There are staff members and guests that have to be fed and this can prove challenging for the Kitchen.
To handle this situation, smaller kitchens were made available so that the work load can be shared amongst them.
One of those additional kitchens focused on desserts, and that is the Chocolate shop. It is found in the basement and is in charge of making all of the White House’s desserts.
The Chocolate shop also handles the yearly Easter Egg Roll and is responsible for the large gingerbread house that the White House makes every holiday season.
2. Family Theater
The space that serves as a theater in the White House was formerly a cloakroom and this was before the East Wing was joined to the White House. As guests went into the White House, their coats were taken into this room by the staff.
After the East Wing became a part of the White House, this room was no more okay for this purpose and President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the decision to repurpose it into a theater.
This theater has served different purposes for different presidents. Some have used it to rehearse their speeches before going on to address the public, and most have used it for what it was meant for – watching movies. You may be surprised to know that some U.S presidents have seen some movies before it even became available in national theaters.
This theater has 40 seats and when President Eisenhower furnished it, he added four large armchairs at the front for the President and their family.
The room had a floral design, however this was later changed to red paint and gold trim.
3. Vermeil Room
The Vermeil Room got its name from its golden silver tones. It is where different pieces of furniture and silverware are displayed. The room really has a lot of history in it and is a popular choice for First Ladies when they are to have their portraits painted.
Before the room became what it currently is, it was where the First Lady and her female guests would sit and talk. Later on, President Hoover made the room a place where guests could stay before meeting either the President or the First Lady in their individual rooms.
4. The Music Room
Before it became the Music room, this room had served quite a number of purposes.
Originally, the room was a just a sitting room, connecting some places in the White House. Then for a little while, it served as a preschool for John Kennedy, Jr. and during President Ford’s Administration it was turned into a bedroom for Jack Ford.
The room had its final renovation in 1990s and became known as the music room till date.
President Bill Clinton liked playing the saxophone and Hillary – his wife, thought it would make a wonderful place where he can play and also have great acoustics. And so the room was renovated, sound proofed, and changed into a music room.
Not only did President Clinton play his saxophone in the Music Room, but he placed in the room different music memorabilia that he had collected and some that had been gifted him by other musicians.
Other presidents have also included their own collection of memorabilia to the music room.
5. The China Room
The China Room stands as one of the oldest rooms in the White House. The room has also served different purposes before it became the China Room that it is today.
It was the bedroom of a fireman hired by President Van Buren, to light and maintain the large furnace that is in current day’s Diplomatic Reception room.
In 1902, the room became a cloak room and in 1917 was turned into the China Room. This was championed by Woodrow Wilson’s wife and different china collections from various presidencies were displayed here. You won’t be wrong to call this room a museum.
And so, the tradition of presidents leaving behind their own china collection began.
If you have ever seen a picture or video of this room, you will see that the collection of George Washington begins at the right of the fireplace. Two of the chairs that were used by Washington during his presidency are also in this room.
6. Workout Room
It wasn’t always the Workout room. In the 1930s it was the housekeeper’s suite. The housekeeper used it as a sitting room to welcome guests and later it was a sitting room for people to just rest in.
The room had some reconstruction and the corner roof was lifted making it wider.
During Kennedy’s Administration, Jackie renovated the room and turned it into a blue bedroom to match the red guest bedroom in the White House.
In the 1980s, the room was turned back to a sitting room.
Eventually and in the Clinton Administration, the room became the workout room. This was done so that both the President and staff can have a place to work out in the White House.
7. Map Room
This was formerly a billiard room for presidents and their guests. It also served as a room where the president would have special doctor visits.
However, there is a story behind how the room got its name.
During the World War II, there was no situation Room in the White House and so Franklin D. Roosevelt turned the room into a map room. Many maps showing different states of the war were put up in the room and he used this to monitor and keep an eye on both enemy and ally movements during the war.
After the war, there was no more need for the maps and the staff removed most of them except one. The one that was left was the final map of the war tracking German troops.
Although no more a situation room, it still keeps its name and that final map is still on the wall till date.
8. Bowling Alley
The White House also has a bowling alley. It was a present to President Truman and although he was not a huge fan of bowling, he accepted the gift because he knew the staff would appreciate it.
The first location of the alley was in present-day Situation Room, but it was later moved downstairs.
President Nixon and his wife who both enjoy bowling, moved the bowling alley underground where it has remained. The alley was also changed into a single-lane alley.
Conclusion – Bedrooms In The White House
As you must very well know now, the White House has several rooms. They include bedrooms, bathrooms, sitting rooms and many other rooms that serve different purposes for not just the President and family, but everyone who resides there and people who visit from time to time.