North Lawn

North face, with square portico in 2007 (Derek Jensen)

The President's Front Yard

The north lawn is the president's front yard. It has many old trees and other plantings, some of which date back nearly the full two hundred years of the White House's existence.

James Polk added a statue of Thomas Jefferson to the north lawn. This statue was later moved to the Capitol Building.

In the time of President Tyler, the acclaimed author Charles Dickens wrote of his visit:

The President's mansion is more like an English clubhouse, both within and without, than any other kind of establishment with which I can compare it. The ornamental ground about it has been laid out in garden walks; they are pretty, and agreeable to the eye; though they have that uncomfortable air of having been made yesterday, which is far from favorable to the display of such beauties.


I went, with my wife, at about ten. There was a pretty dense crowd of carriages and people in the courtyard, and so far as I could make out, there were no very clear regulations for the taking up or setting down of company. There were certainly no policemen to soothe startled horses, either by sawing at their bridles or flourishing truncheons in their eyes. But there was no confusion or disorder. Our carriage reached the porch in its turn, without any blustering, shouting, backing or other disturbance; and we dismounted with as much ease and comfort as though we had been escorted by the whole Metropolitan force.


More Images

Halloween fantasy on the north lawn in 2009 (Time - AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The north fountain in 1992 (George Bush Presidential Library)

The north lawn and fountain in 1987 (Dept of Defense)

The north fountain around 1957 (Eisenhower Library)

The White House, circa 1903 (Library of Congress - Underwood & Underwood)

The north lawn and fountain from what is today the Private Dining Room, circa 1902 (Library of Congress - Frances Benjamin Johnston)

The fountain and plantings in 1902 (Library of Congress - Barnett Clinedinst)

The north lawn and fountain in 1900 (White House)

The north face, circa 1860, with Jefferson statue set up by President James Polk (Library of Congress - heavily restored)

Close up of the Jefferson statue from the 1860s (Library of Congress - heavily restored)