- from Presidency
The city of Washington, D.C., was created to be the center of the national government. A special home, now called the White House, was built for the president at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. George Washington chose the spot and approved the plans. But he never lived there.
The capital city of the U.S. during his presidency was first New York and then Philadelphia. When the second president, John Adams, moved into the presidential home in 1800, it was still under construction. Since then, the building has been remodeled, added to, and redecorated many times.
How did Washington, D.C., become the nation’s capital? The decision to build it there was worked out at a dinner between James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson. Madison agreed to let the federal government take on the debt carried by the states. In return, Hamilton agreed to place the new capital in the South.