Has the White House always been 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Based on the European method, which is generally sequential with odds on one side starting at 1, and evens on the other side starting at 2.

Presumably across most of the USA you don’t get any street numbers below 100, right? Whereas in the UK I would say that the large majority of street numbers are below 100 - certainly numbers above 1000 are extremely rare and only found on roads that keep the same name for a very long distance.

I’m not sure about the rest of the country but we have them in DC. That block would be referred to as the Unit block of P Street NW for example.

Of course we have street numbers below 100. Why would you think otherwise? They have to start somewhere. Even and odd on opposite sides is typical as well.

Downtown Santa Barbara, for example, is split by State Street. The streets that cross it have the same name but are either East or West. So one side will start with 1 East Anapamu and continue up and the other with 1 West Anapamu. The North and South running streets end at the Pacific Ocean and start from there in the single digits.

Not where I have lived. The short dead end street where I lived started with 118 and 123 and got down at the end to 185. This was how things were numbered. Where I live now is a short street which starts with 3000. It is very common to start numbering with 100 and increment by 100 every block.

Where do you live? Are you sure there wasn’t an earlier block that got eliminated sometime in the past?

I would be surprised if this is common, even in cities with a grid system. Buildings numbered 1-99 seem universal in the U.S. at least.

My current house number is below 10.

My small town doesn’t have house numbers (not street numbers) below 100.

But there’s no fighting in the War Room!

Looking at my home town on Zillow. I will have to say you are correct. The streets to the north of my street have numbers from 1-99. But where my street would extend there is instead a park. I thought those houses were the 200 block.

Pepco - Potomac Electric Power Co.

George Washington University - technically on I street but it spills over onto Penn Ave

Les Halles - French restaurant where Anthony Bourdain once worked (now closed)

Renwick Gallery - American Art Museum

So has anyone determined when the number 1600 might have been assigned to the location?

Wichita has no house numbers below 100.

The Wikipedia article on Pennsylvania Avenue says that it was one of the first streets laid out in the Federal District and pre-dates the construction of the White House. There is mention of it by name in 1791.


Well I thought that the convention was that they went up by 100 on each block, based on cross streets, so 1600 is at the corner of 16th Street, say (as in the White House example).

So, if the first street is 1st Street, then I was assuming the numbers would start there, at 100.

But thinking about it some more, I suppose there could easily be houses before 1st Street, if the avenue starts a little way on the other side of it.

Also, some cities have a Main Street before 1st Street.

There’s also ‘vanity’ addresses. Like in downtown Columbus, you have 1, 2 and 3 Nationwide Plaza. Oakland has 1 Kaiser Plaza. (For Nationwide Insurance and Kaiser Permanente) I’m sure there’s a lot more of those, those two just came to mind.

Another famous one is “30 Rock” aka 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

NYC does have numerous one- and two-digit addresses.

The vast majority of American cities, and virtually all of them outside New England, use a cartesian addressing system in which there’s a baseline from which all addresses are counted based on distance. So Chicago will have, at the corner of State and Madison, 1 N. State across the street from 2 N. State, and 1 W. Madison across the street from 2 W. Madison.

There’s a lot of local variation, of course, so some cities may be missing their low addresses. The blocks near the river may be missing for some reason, for instance. Suburbs of big cities (or those with countywide addressing systems) may begin their addresses somewhere in the thousands, while other towns may have let developers ignore the town’s overall scheme and sell picturesque houses addressed as “15 Honeysuckle Lane.”

In Washington Post–speak, the block with numbers below 100 is called “the unit block,” but other newspapers in other cities may say the suspect lived on “the first block” of Spruce St.

L.A. has no addresses below 100, except for about three exceptions. Olvera Street, Chester Place – which is really just part of Mount Saint Mary’s DTLA campus, and Venice. I don’t know how Venice escaped assimilation when it was annexed in the early 1920s, but they somehow managed it. There are 1 and 2 figure house numbers starting at the beach and ending at Pacific Avenue, one block inland. East of there the blandness of five digit addresses in nearly all east-and-west streets, typical of the Westside, takes over.

I grew up in “lane”–it truly is one, but the addresses are all in the 9000s.