Sunday, October 21, 2007

The White House: Grounds

-The grounds are owned and cared for by the National Park Service

-The grounds crew consists of 13 regular staff, including 8 gardeners and 3 foremen

-A 9 kilowatt PV system covers the roof of the grounds maintenece facility and directly feeds solar-generated power into the White House distribution system, providing electricity wherever it is needed.

-There are two separate solar thermal systems on the grounds- one for the grounds maintenece facility and gives hot water to maintenence personnel, and the other is a roof-integrated thermal array built into the new roof of the First Family’s pool cabana and provides domestic hot water for the cabana, heats the outdoor presidential spa and also helps heat the outdoor pool.

-All of these solar technologies were put in during the Bush administration after the encouragement of the National Park service

-Thomas Jefferson originally graded and planted most of the grounds

-The oldest trees remaining on the grounds are Magnolia grandifolia planted by Andrew Jackson

-An overall design and master plan was done by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. under FDR in 1935, and it mostly remains the same

-There were several large greenhouses built outside of the West Wing in the mid to late 19th century and were taken down by Theodore Roosevelt, who moved growing of all plants outside (Several White House greenhouses still exist, but are located around the city and not on the grounds)

-The Kennedy administration added the White House Rose garden on the west side and the Jacqueline Kennedy garden on the east side.

-The Mid-Atlantic Flood of 2006 toppled several large trees on the grounds, including the White House Elm, which can be seen on the $20 bill

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