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  • Window Ornament, Detail
    Bruce White
    North Portico
    This detail photograph by Bruce White shows a portion of the window ornament on the North Portico. Carved acanthus leaves support the ledge and a portion of the Grecian chain is visible. The bottom of the foremost window is unpainted showing the Aquia Creek sandstone underneath.
  • Windows, Detail
    Bruce White
    north view
    North Portico
    This photograph is of the exterior windows on the North facade of the White House. The windows have alternating triangular or arched pediments and ornamental features such as guillouche or braiding and acanthus leaves. The bottom of the foremost window is unpainted showing the Aquia Creek sandstone underneath.
  • Window Ornament, North Portico
    Bruce White
    North Portico
    This photograph by Bruce White shows the ornamental details beneath a window on the North Portico. Between supports of carved acanthus leaves there is a Grecian chain, also known as a guilloche border. The bottom of the foremost window is unpainted showing the Aquia Creek sandstone underneath.
  • Seneca Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph by Martin Radigan shows what remains of the Seneca Quarry, from which early stone for the White House was sourced. It was located in Maryland near the Potomac River where the stone could be easily transported back to the capital.
  • Seneca Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph by Martin Radigan shows what remains of the Seneca Quarry, from which early stone for the White House was sourced. It was located in Maryland near the Potomac River where the stone could be easily transported back to the capital.
  • Split Outcroppings in Aquia Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph shows where craftsmen split and harvested the stone from the natural outcroppings in Aquia quarry on Government Island for building materials. After splitting the stones the craftsmen would evaluate their quality deciding whether to discard the stones or send them to the building site. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • Split Outcroppings in Aquia Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph shows where craftsmen split and harvested the stone from the natural outcroppings in Aquia quarry on Government Island for building materials. After splitting the stones the craftsmen would evaluate their quality deciding whether to discard the stones or send them to the building site. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • Discarded Stone at Aquia Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph is of the unused stone at Aquia quarry. The stones bear the chisel marks from splitting and smoothing indicating they were being prepared for transport, but ultimately abandoned for some physical defect. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • Discarded Stone at Aquia Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph is of the unused stone at Aquia quarry. The stones bear the chisel marks from splitting and smoothing indicating they were being prepared for transport, but ultimately abandoned for some physical defect. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • Lichen-Covered Stone, Government Island
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph was taken on Government Island in Stafford, Virginia. The federal government purchased the island, then known as Wiggington's Island, in 1791. The island served as a quarry for the freestone that was used to build the President's House and the United States Capitol Building. Extensive amounts of freestone were extracted from 1791 to the 1820s. In this photograph is natural stone that had been successfully split by the quarrymen but left behind, likely due to physical imperfections. Bright green lichen has covered the stone over the years.
  • Quarry-Face Stone, Government Island
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph was taken on Government Island in Stafford, Virginia. The federal government purchased the island, then known as Wiggington's Island, in 1791. The island served as a quarry for the freestone that was used to build the President's House and the United States Capitol Building. Extensive amounts of freestone were extracted from 1791 to the 1820s. This photograph captures a "quarry-face," or the trimming of a stone with a chisel. Stonemasons would trim each of the six faces of a stone before the stone was cut into even smaller blocks. The forward facing side of the block would then be smoothed while the remaining five faces, unexposed and unseen in the walls of the building, were left rough.
  • Aquia Creek, Government Island
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph is of Aquia Creek near Government Island in Stafford, Virginia. The federal government purchased the island, then known as Wiggington's Island, in 1791. The island served as a quarry for the freestone that was used to build the President's House and the United States Capitol Building. Extensive amounts of freestone were extracted from 1791 to the 1820s. Stone extracted was then transported to Washington, D.C. via Aquia Creek and the Potomac River.
  • Aquia Quarry on Government Island
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph is of the stone quarry on the shores of Aquia Creek. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol Building. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • Robert Steuart Boundary Marker, Government Island
    Martin Radigan
    quarry
    This photograph was taken on Government Island in Stafford, Virginia. The federal government acquired all but one acre of the island, then known as Wiggington's Island, in 1791. The island served as a quarry for the freestone that was used to build the President's House and the United States Capitol Building. Extensive amounts of freestone were extracted from 1791 to the 1820s. In this photograph, the mark of stonemason Robert Steuart of Baltimore, Maryland, who purchased the remaining one acre in 1786, is seen on this boundary marker with the initials, "R.S."
  • Discarded Stone at Aquia Quarry
    Martin Radigan
    quarry 
    This photograph is of one of the unused stones at Aquia quarry on Government Island. The stones bear the chisel marks from splitting and smoothing indicating they were being prepared for transport, but ultimately abandoned because of some physical defect. In 1791, the federal government purchased Wiggington’s Island, now Government Island, to provide stone to build the President’s House and the United States Capitol Building. From 1791 through the 1820s extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site.
  • A Vision Takes Form: the White House Under Construction, 1796
    Peter Waddell
    renovation
    west view
    This oil painting entitled A Vision Takes Form was completed by artist Peter Waddell in 2007, during George W. Bush's administration. The White House Historical Association commissioned the painting to illustrate 18th century construction processes, materials, and equipment to depict the construction site and its surroundings as it may have appeared in 1796. In the foreground are a group that included White House architect James Hoban, master carpenter Pierce Purcell, a D.C. commissioner, and architect William Thornton, surveying the construction of the White House. ***Interior use only for publications***