The web site isn't yet available (at the time of this posting), but the White House today announced the latest step in President and Mrs. Obama’s efforts to truly make 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue “The People’s House”, by working with Google Art Project to create a virtual 360-degree tour of the White House’s public rooms.
Since the President’s inauguration – when he and Mrs. Obama surprised guests attending public tours – the Obamas have worked to make the White House more open and accessible. Over three years later, approximately 2.5 million visitors have walked through the gates of The People’s House, including Residence tourists, guests at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll events, Fall and Spring Garden Tours, guests at State or Official Arrival Ceremonies and White House Kitchen Garden school group tours. Now through the Google Art Project, millions more will be able to virtually visit the White House.
“The White House isn’t simply a home to First Families or meeting space for world leaders, it’s also known as ‘The People’s House,’ a place that should be open to everyone. And that’s why we’ve made it a priority to invite young people, military families, and Americans of all ages to join us here at the White House,” Mrs. Obama says in a video welcoming digital users to explore the White House via the Google Art Project. “Thousands of people have walked these halls and gazed at the artwork. They’ve examined the portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. They’ve imagined the history that’s unfolded here. And now you can do all of that without leaving your home. So go ahead, look around, enjoy the history and the beauty of these rooms. Because after all, this is your house, too.”
The Google Art Project, which launched in February 2011, uses Google technology to allow users to view museum objects in high resolution and explore institutions through Google Street View. The new White House tour is part of a global expansion of the Google Art Project – today Google announced the project has new partnerships with 29 partners in 16 cities across the country.
The White House is the only building in the world that is simultaneously the home of a head of state, the executive office of a head of state, and is regularly open to the public for tours.
For information and instructions on applying for a White House visit, please go to:http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events/