Who Was the Only President Not to Live in the White House?
George Washington – he ended his service as chief executive in 1797 and died before the federal government moved in 1800 from Philadelphia to the village capital named in his honor. President Washington did select the site for the President’s House and gave his approval of the Georgian design for the mansion submitted by Irish-born architect James Hoban in an open competition
President Washington hired people to plan a new city. Washington, D.C., is one of the only cities in the world that was designed before it was built. First, Benjamin Banneker and Andrew Ellicott made maps of the land. Then Pierre Charles L'Enfant decided where to put the roads. Washington decided to put the Capitol Building on a hill at one end of the city, and the president's house on a hill at the other end.
Next it was time to decide what kind of house to build for the president. Thomas Jefferson suggested having a contest. He advertised the contest in newspapers across the country. A committee picked a simple but elegant design by James Hoban, a young Irish American architect.
While Congress debated what to build and where to build it, our first president, George Washington, lived in three houses. The first two were in New York City. The third was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Finally, Washington decided to compromise. He picked a patch of land on the Potomac River
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