Ed Mauger walks from the site of former White House
Corner of Market and 6th Sts.
The building was originally owned by the richest man in America, Robert Morris. When the British invaded Philadelphia, General Howe commandeered the house as his headquarters. When the Americans recaptured the city, Benedict Arnold, then commandant of Philadelphia, lived there, too.
Morris offered the house to the U.S. Government after the War. When President George Washington moved into the house in 1790, he had it enlarged to fit his large family and entourage. At the time, Congress offered Washington $25,000 a year salary as President, but Washington preferred to be reimbursed for expenses as he was used to as a general. Congress refused, and probably saved quite a bit of money as Washington's liquor bill alone his first year in Philadelphia was over $3,000.
The building which the first two Presidents of the country called home during their terms was demolished in the early 19th century.