White House began as gray, later painted white

2013-12-29T00:00:00Z White House began as gray, later painted white nwitimes.com
December 29, 2013 12:00 am

Lately, in the letter to the editor, there has been conversation about the color of the White House. There is reference to symbolism about the White House being white. For all of you who are making a big deal about the color, here is a history lesson with facts.

The original color of the White House was a natural grey in color because it was constructed with sandstone, not painted white. In 1814, during the War of 1812 with the British, the White House was burned with the interior destroyed and the exterior charred. White paint was used to cover up the charred marks.

The White House was never called by that name immediately after it was built. It was some years after the repairs to the burned building were done that the name White House referred to where the president of the United States lived. There is no symbolism associated with its color.

Any history professor can tell you about the original color of the White House, and how it became the color it is today.

- Louis Gorman, East Chicago

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