Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.
The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term, “White House”, is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.
The modern-day White House complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President’s staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence. The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President’s Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of “America’s Favorite Architecture”.
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District’s street-numbering system and the District’s four quadrants.
The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, particularly with the addition of the massive dome, and expanded chambers for the bicameral legislature, the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing. Like the principal buildings of the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in a distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior. Both its east and west elevations are formally referred to as fronts, though only the east front was intended for the reception of visitors and dignitaries.
The National Mall is a landscaped park within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, an official unit of the United States National Park System. It is located near the downtown area of Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States, and is administered by the National Park Service (NPS) of the United States Department of the Interior.
The National Mall contains and borders a number of museums of the Smithsonian Institution, art galleries, cultural institutions, and various memorials, sculptures, and statues. The park receives approximately 24 million visitors each year.
Pennsylvania Avenue is a diagonal street in Washington, D.C. that connects the White House and the United States Capitol. Called “America’s Main Street”, it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches. Moreover, Pennsylvania Avenue is an important commuter road and is part of the National Highway System.
Independence Avenue is a major east-west street in the city of Washington, D.C., in the United States, and is lined with museums and federal office buildings.
Freedom Plaza, originally known as Western Plaza, is an open plaza in Northwest Washington, D.C., United States, located at the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to Pershing Park. The John A. Wilson Building, the seat of the District of Columbia government, faces the plaza, as does the historic National Theatre, which has been visited by every U.S. President since it opened in 1835. Three large hotels are to the north and west.