Exploring The White House
In October, one of Motifworks’ employees, Nicholas Carr, had the opportunity to take a tour through the White House. This specific tour is unique because Nick was able to look in different rooms and explore one of the wings of the White House at his own pace. I had the opportunity to ask Nick about his experience touring the White House.
Tell me about your visit to the White House
“Getting the chance to visit the White House felt very involved. My father knew someone with political connections and expressed interest in getting a tour. To apply for the tour, we had to provide a headcount of everyone in our party accompanied by their social security number, name, etc. This is for the background check that is required. Once they do the background check and you are selected, they contact you with a non-negotiable date and time. If you can’t make that date and time, you can’t reschedule. Luckily, Nitin is fantastic and let me take the day off for the tour! My father, brother, and I all met up at 5:00 am to get there at the required 7:15 am time. Once we were there, we lined up with everyone else who was doing a tour. The tour itself was completely self-guided. You got to walk around at your own pace and look at a lot of different rooms.
Overall, the tour was quick as you only got to really see one floor of one of the wings. It was funny because we wanted to look at one of the areas outside and the secret service in the room said we were able to go out. Turns out that it was the exit and you couldn’t go back inside.”
Why did you decide to do this specific tour?
“It was a great opportunity to see the inside of the white house. My father is very interested in history and it was something he always wanted to see.”
What did you learn or experience that was unique?
“The most unique experience was standing inside the old oval office and thinking about how you are standing where some of the presidents made some very important decisions. You are walking down the same hallways that some of the most important people in the country have walked. It was surreal in that sense.
One of the most interesting things I learned was regarding the artwork. I loved looking at all the priceless art and artifacts around the room. It turns out that they were donated by lots of different people. One of the nicest art pieces I asked about was donated to the white house by an Indian investor. He donated this artwork and now he doesn’t have to pay taxes in the states. That is the incentive of the donation.
But the absolute coolest thing I saw was the sword of George Washington hanging on one of the walls. It was hard to get a good look since you could only see it through a mirror because it was in one of the completely closed-off rooms. Just because some of the rooms are closed off or treated like museum pieces during tours, doesn’t mean it is not used anymore. In fact, a few days before we visited, the dining area we visited was hosted a dinner party of foreign ambassadors. It was a great experience!”