The White House, since 1800 the official residence of the president of the United States, is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The winner of a 1792 competition for its design was the Irish-American architect James Hoban, whose dignified neoclassical plan was a virtual copy of a project in James Gibbs's Book of Architecture (1728). As early as 1807, Benjamin Latrobe, the principal architect of the Capitol, sought to improve the building by preparing designs for pavilions at either end (added that year in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson), for interior alterations, and for porticos on both fronts. After the building was burned (1814) by the British, it was reconstructed (1815-17) by Hoban, who also added (1826) the semicircular South Portico that Latrobe had proposed and completed (1829) Latrobe's rectangular North Portico.
The White House was extensively remodeled (1902) by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, which also added the East Gallery and the Executive Office Wing. Between 1948 and 1952 the building, deemed structurally unsound, was gutted and its interior structure replaced with steel framing, within which the original rooms were reconstructed. Since 1961 each First Lady has contributed to a continuing effort to refurbish the interior. The resultant enhancement has made the White House a veritable museum of decorative arts of the first quarter of the 19th century.