The Little White House is a six-room Georgia pine Colonial Revival home. It is two and a half stories high with white clapboard siding and a red tile roof.
The house was built by J.B. Holton between 1919 and 1921 for $40,000. It was modeled after Dutch country homes and was originally located in Roswell, Georgia. In 1925, it was moved to its present site in Buckhead, which at that time was part of the town of Atlanta. The family who owned the house until 1991 had lived in one of the rooms on the first floor as their primary residence.
In 1995, the Little White House was purchased for $1.5 million by David G. Clarke, who died in the 1996 shooting incident at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. His wife, Betty Lou, then sold the house for $1.95 million to real estate developer Donald Trump. The Trump family still owns the house today.
The Little White House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. It is one of only four homes in America built entirely from fresh cut Georgia pine.
Three of the rooms were bedrooms: one for Roosevelt, one for Eleanor Roosevelt, and one for his personal assistant. There was also an entry hall, a living room, and a kitchen. The house was built by J.B. Longstreet between 1875 and 1879.
Roosevelt visited this house nearly every day of his stay in Georgia, except when he went hunting or fishing. He often returned late from the woods or river too exhausted to visit with anyone else but stayed up talking with his staff. They say that at least once during those conversations, the president put his arm on a young staffer named Harry Hopkins who had been with him for only three months. According to some accounts, it was this same staff member who introduced the idea of a "fireside chat" to Roosevelt when he complained about how hard it was to get heard by the American people.
In addition to Hopkins, other important figures who worked in or around the Little White House include Mary McLean (who cleaned the house), Annie Fraser (who cooked for the family), and Rosemary Kennedy (Eleanor's sister; she helped out with household chores).
There are several different ways to calculate the number of rooms in the Little White House. One method is to divide the length of the house by the width of each room.
The White House is constructed of gray-colored sandstone quarried near Aquia, Virginia. The north and south porticos are made of Maryland's red Seneca sandstone. To cover the whole White House, 570 gallons of white paint are required. It takes just under 5 tons of wheat to make a single loaf of bread. A walnut tree planted by George Washington in 1789 is still alive today.
In 1792, William Shaw built the first stone house on the site of the current White House. The Shaws sold this property back to the federal government for $7,500 (about $100,000 in today's dollars). The current house was built between 1801 and 1814 by Henry Hobson Richardson with funds provided by Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson also designed the grounds around the White House; he wanted them to be beautiful but also serve an important function as a defense against attacks from outside forces. He had seen what happened to London after it lost its natural protection, so he wanted to prevent that from happening to Washington. The White House grounds include a large lawn called the South Lawn, which measures 930 by 68 feet. There are several trees on the lawn, including two giant sequoias that were given to President James Madison and his family when they moved into the White House in 1815. They are the only living things on the south side of the house.
White is used throughout the four residences, as well as complimentary tones of gray, taupe, and natural wood. The houses are all different, but the white color scheme remains. Far from being monotonous, the choice of white allows for a huge feeling of shift, with shadows and natural light being the focal focus of the design.
The first residence is located in Palm Beach, Florida. Designed by HNTB, it has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and was built in 2004. The cost was estimated at $5 million at the time it was built.
The second residence is also located in Palm Beach and was designed by George Kohn and Associates. It has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and was built in 2005. The cost was estimated at $15 million at the time it was built.
The third residence is located in Beverly Hills, California. It was designed by Richard Neutra and built in 1958. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and was restored by its current owner in 1996. The cost was estimated at $3 million at the time it was built.
All three homes have one thing in common: they were all originally painted white.
Palm Beach was chosen as the setting for the first residence because the area is known for its luxury high-rise buildings and beautiful beaches.