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The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In collaboration with the White House Historical Association

Session 4 of 4-Session Evening Course

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Code: 1B0240

The President’s House was a major feature of Pierre Charles L'Enfant's 1791 plan for the city of Washington. He envisioned a vast palace for the nation’s leader, a building five times the size of the residence that would eventually be planned and constructed under the watchful eye of President George Washington. Since then, the White House has been burned, reconstructed, renovated, designed, and redesigned, and it remains the home of the presidents of the United States.

In this series, four noted specialists explore aspects of every corner of the famous building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where every decision, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has political ramifications. Participants at each program receive a copy of the speaker’s corresponding large-format, illustrated book published by the White House Historical Association.



Music has the strong and visceral ability to impact both individuals and societies in emotionally moving ways. Over the years, music has been a powerful tool to shape the image of an administration through performances and ceremonies that reflect both the interests of specific presidents and the periods in which they lived. Join Elise Kirk, author of Music in the White House: From the 18th to the 21st Centuries, as she discusses music’s unique role within the White House as a form of entertainment, and how presidents supported artistic freedom and expression in return.

If you are interested in other sessions or viewing the full course, click here.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)