Although he would never have the chance to live there, President George Washington oversaw the design and construction of The President's House - The White House. From choosing the location, to overseeing a design competition, to laying the first cornerstone of the House in 1792, Washington insured that all future American Presidents and the United States would have an iconic symbol of shared history and heritage. That symbol was threated in 1814 when the British, during the War of 1812, invaded the Capital and set fire to the White House. Luckily, First Lady Dolley Madison had the foresight to direct the removal of a few important items from the house…including Washington’s famous portrait. Today, it is one of the few things that have been in the White House since its construction.