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Secrets of the White House Kitchen Slideshow

Secrets of the White House Kitchen Slideshow


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Feeding the leader of the free world is kind of an intimidating task

Wikimedia Commons

Secrets of the White House Kitchen

Wikimedia Commons

The United States doesn’t have its own castles or palaces — we have the White House. The 55,000-square-foot, six-story residence is the center of the U.S. government’s executive branch. Not only does the president work there, but he also resides there with the First Family. Because the White House is a working office in addition to a home, it follows that the place has a massive housekeeping staff and kitchen staff that keep the White House running like clockwork.

The White House kitchen staff has an important job: feeding the president and his family. In addition to the everyday meals, snacks, and drinks, the kitchen is also responsible for state dinners and other important gatherings, like the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. So they need to be prepared — at any moment — to host huge parties for the president and other important international figureheads. But how do they do it all?

Some First Families Are Pickier Than Others

Wikimedia Commons

Because of often archaic gender roles, managing the White House kitchen staff has traditionally fallen on the First Lady. Some wives embrace the role; Mamie Eisenhower was very involved in state dinner menu planning. Other First Ladies, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Melania Trump, have been less interested in the day-to-day duties and allow the staff to do as they will.

The Button

Wikimedia Commons

Each president has a button on his desk in the Oval Office, from which he can order any snack he chooses. Donald Trump presses the big red button to order a fresh Coke on demand, while Barack Obama used the button for a hot cup of tea.

The Current Executive Chef Is a Trailblazer

Wikimedia Commons

Cristeta Comerford has been the executive chef at the White House for 12 years. She is the first woman to hold the role and the first Asian person. She was born in the Philippines and emigrated to the U.S. in 1985, when she was 23 years old.

The Food Is Screened by the FBI

iStock

Because the president is kind of an important guy, his food is carefully monitored before it’s served to him. International food is shipped to a staffer’s address so no one knows who the final recipient is, room service is sent to a companion’s hotel suite, and staff members do the grocery shopping. Outside food is not permitted inside the White House.

The Kitchen Can Serve a Large Party at Any Given Moment

WIkimedia Commons

At the drop of a hat, the White House kitchen is able to serve a dinner to 140 guests. If the president and family are hosting a larger affair, they’re able to serve hors d’oeuvres to upwards of 1,000 people.

The President Pays for His Own Food

Dreamstime

There’s no need to worry, taxpayers! You aren’t paying for the president’s daily dinners and midday snacks. At the end of every month, the first family is given a grocery bill and must pay the tab themselves.

The Staff Caters to the President’s Every Need

iStock

The longer a president is in office, the better the staff gets to know his every whim. For instance, Donald Trump gets extra sauce at dinner while the rest of his diners get the normal amount. He also gets two scoops of ice cream.

There Are Actually Multiple Kitchens

Wikimedia Commons

Of the 132 rooms in the White House, three of them are kitchens. In addition to the main kitchen, the White House also boasts a pastry kitchen and a “family kitchen” in the Executive Residence for casual breakfasts and meals that the first family can enjoy together.

Turnover Between Presidents Is Intense

Dreamstime

The peaceful transition of power takes place every four years on January 20, and until noon that day, the White House staff still serves the sitting commander-in-chief. After that, though, they have six hours to turn over the White House and prepare it for a new president. The pantry is cleared out as one president’s snacks are thrown out in favor of another’s.

You Can’t Get a Job There

Wikimedia Commons

It should be no surprise, but open positions for White House staffers aren’t posted on LinkedIn. Instead, jobs in the White House kitchen are filled by other staff members recommending people they know for positions. Some families have worked in the White House for generations, with jobs being passed on from one family member to another. If this isn’t enough White House knowledge for you, click here to find out the favorite foods of 15 U.S. presidents.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


The Craziest White House Amenities Added by First Families

President Ford had an underground passageway created so he wouldn't have to go outside to get to the pool.

Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States, and while we're curious as to what new policies he'll introduce, we're also interested to see if he'll make any renovations to the White House during his term.

Over the years, the White House has undergone several additions both internally and externally. We're not just talking about the six desks that have been used in the Oval Office or changes to the decor. From bowling alleys to swimming pools, the first families have made some edits to the White House's 132 rooms and 18.7 acres. Here's a look at some of the more extravagant amenities that were installed.

James Buchanan added a greenhouse to the roof

As a refresher, the White House was originally built in 1792 however, after incurring damages from the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania Ave property was rebuilt from 1814 to 1817. The first major renovation took place during James Buchanan's time. According to the White House Historical Association, his niece Harriet Lane, who was also the White House hostess, convinced him to introduce a wooden greenhouse on the roof of the west terrace in 1857. It burned down in 1867, but was replaced with a new one, this time twice as big and made from iron and wood.

Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes continued adding conservatories

Buchanan wasn't the only one with a green thumb: In the 1870s and 1880s, Presidents Grant and Hayes called for additional conservatories to be added, including rose houses, a camellia house, orchid houses, and a house for bedding plants.

Theodore Roosevelt added a tennis court and stuffed animal heads to the dining room

It appears President Roosevelt wasn't much of a plant guy&mdashalthough he was keen on taxidermy. In 1902, the 25th President removed the conservatories in order to construct the Executive Office Building (now known as the West Wing). He also added a tennis court to the grounds. In terms of decor, Roosevelt (an avid hunter) had animal heads displayed in the dining room.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt added an indoor pool and a movie theater

Anyone for a swim? FDR had a 50-foot narrow pool installed directly underneath the White House Press Briefing Room, for physical therapy exercises. According to the White House Museum, "the president&rsquos pool was a modern-day showcase of technology, featuring underwater lighting, sterilizers, and the latest gadgets." He was reported to have swam in it multiple times a day.

During his term, President Roosevelt also had a cloakroom transformed into a movie theater&mdash an addition that has remained popular with First Families to this day.

Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built

In 1969, President Nixon had a one-lane bowling alley built at the White House, which still stands today. However, this wasn't the first bowling alley: During President Truman's term, lanes were added to the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift, per the White House Museum. Truman himself didn't care for bowling but allowed his staff to start a league. These original lanes were taken out of the White House and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955.

Gerald Ford added an outdoor pool, a cabana, and a secret tunnel

In addition to the indoor pool, President Ford added an outdoor swimming pool to the White House grounds in 1975. He also had a cabana built that offered changing rooms and showers, as well as an underground passage that allowed the first family to get to the pool from the West Wing without going outside.

Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed

While solar panels are a popular amenity now, you didn't see too many of them in the '70s. In 1979, President Carter had 32 of these panels installed on the White House roof&mdashan action that many considered ahead of its time. President Ronald Regan took office following Carter and had the panels removed. In 2014, President Obama brought them back.

Hillary Clinton had a Music Room created so President Clinton could practice the saxophone

According to the White House Museum, First Lady Hillary Clinton surprised President Clinton for his birthday by transforming a third-floor sitting room into a music room so he could play his saxophone. Clinton displayed pieces of memorabilia that had been given to him by musicians or fans of music in the soundproof room.

Barack Obama had the tennis court adapted into a basketball court

President Obama had the tennis court adapted for full-court basketball games. Painted lines and removable basketball hoops were added to the premises.

Melania Trump had a tennis pavilion installed

In 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the new White House Tennis Pavillon. The structure includes a colonnade, parapet wall, and fanlight windows taking after the look and feel of the White House. The pavilion was not well-received by the public&mdashit was largely panned as a frivolous addition to introduce while COVID-19 cases were spiking and unemployment was at an all-time high.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump announces completion of White House tennis pavilion.

&ldquoIt is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families," the first lady says. https://t.co/FQV0MupNGd pic.twitter.com/JrvDdk9SA1

&mdash ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2020

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.


Watch the video: Really Weird Rules White House Chefs Are Forced To Follow (July 2022).


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