The White House serves many functions. As a historic building, it contains objects used over a period of two centuries. It is also where the president and first lady preside over ceremonies and official greetings. And it is the home of the presidential family.
While the first family needs to remain accessible to the American people, its members also must have space and time to escape from the pressures and scrutiny of their official roles. Balancing their public and private lives has proved one of the greatest challenges facing occupants of the fishbowl that is the White House.