Sponsored by The Hyatt Foundation


The White House, Washington, D.C.

Although grand plans were originally envisioned by artist and engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant for a presidential residence in Washington D.C., Irish-born architect James Hoban’s more modest design for a refined Georgian mansion in the Palladian style was ultimately selected. The White House was built between 1792 and 1800 and has served as the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams.

In 1801 under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, the White House was expanded with the addition of two colonnades, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (who would later design the US Capitol). Damaged during the War of 1812, the residence was reconstructed and later the south and north porticos were added. Throughout the twentieth century, improvements and additions were undertaken; however, the sandstone exterior walls are originally from Hoban’s time. Today, the White House is a complex of six floors and over 130 rooms.

Although the White House grounds have had many gardeners through their history, the general design, still largely used as master plan today, was designed in 1935 by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. of the Olmsted Brothers firm, under commission from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize events of June 17, 1998 began with a reception inside the White House with all of the state rooms open for viewing by the guests. The ceremony and dinner followed on the south lawn within a tent that had been erected for the occasion. Speakers included President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, architectural historian and Sterling Professor Emeritus, Vincent Scully, J. Carter Brown, Chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, Jay Pritzker, President of the Hyatt Foundation, and laureate, Renzo Piano.