When it comes to popular tourist destinations on any patriotic American's bucket list, more than a few spring to mind. There's the giant faces of American leaders immortalized in stone at Mount Rushmore, the blood-stained battlefields of Gettysburg National Military Park, and, of course, the Statue of Liberty, but one symbol of the United States stands head and shoulders above the rest, mainly because of how many important decisions continue to occur there on a daily basis: The White House.
Of course, not all of us can make it to Washington, DC to visit, and even then, White House tours are a bit of a hassle to arrange, needing your Congress Member's approval and all (no joke), so if your desire to see the iconic building is hampered by travel expenses or a bad wrap from your government representatives, you can always head to the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and cross your bucket list item off the charts on a technicality.
Sitting just off of Interstate 85 is a massive replica of the White House that looks a little more than out of place among the other homes in the neighborhood. At 16,500 square feet, the massive mansion clocks in at only 3/4 the size of the actual White House, but that didn't stop former owner Fred Milani from creating it as true to the original as he could... with a few minor exceptions. Ok, maybe they aren't exactly minor.
While the extorior of the Atlanta White House is nearly a perect representation of the one sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the inside is a little different. The Oval Office, complete with a replica of the presidental desk, could pass for a set on The West Wing, and other rooms, like the Lincoln Bedroom and the President's private theater are fairly accurate, but major reinvisionings like walls full of religious iconography and a massive swimming pool are hints that the residents of this White House were a bit quirkier than the Commander-In-Chief.
Atlanta's White House is the brain child of Fred Milani, an Iranian refugee who arrived in the United States in 1979 and proceeded to build himself a booming real-estate business in the Atlanta Area. As his pockets got fuller of that sweet housing bubble cash, he decided that it was time to build he and his family a reasonable home to reflect their reasonable taste. So naturally, he decided to build his very own White House.
Often asked by reporters and disgruntled neighbors why he would invest so much time in money into building something so grandiose, he would always respond that it was his way of paying tribute to democracy and the country that enabled him to build his fortune. Of course, nothing lasts forever. When the housing bubble collapsed, Milani found that with money rapidly drying up, he needed to put his mansion on the market. Despite potential buyers with ecclectic tastes (including one from Dubai), the Atlanta White House couldn't sell, and in 2011, it was nearly foreclosed on before being sold for around two million bucks. For reference, the original asking price was around 11 million.
Today, the White House still sits on Briarcliff Road, lonely Iranian fags hanging obove the Presidential Seal on the Oval Office floor, while a massive hand-painted ceiling mural of Jesus looks on, but unlike its big brother up North, this one spends most of its time empty. Curious visitors are encouraged to drive by the private home and snap some photos that might make their enraged Facebook friends wonder why the White House has installed a giant religious cross in the front yard, but those who want a closer look at the bizarro-version of the President's home can schedule a private tour or attend one of the occasional open houses. Who knows, you might even feel compelled to make an offer.
Fun fact: the United States is home to a few other White House Replicas. The most impressive is located in McLean, Virginia, and has gone to extra mile to be as accurate to the original as possible. For starters, its owner hired a historical architect to help design and construct the house, and as a result, the White House on Towlston Road isn't just full-scale, it's also got its own Oval Office, Portico, Theater, Lincoln Bedroom, and all.
You can find another replica in Calsbad, California and this is one the kids will particularly love to visit. You see, this White House has has the distinction of being built entirely out of Lego bricks. That's right, Legoland California even has it's own Presidential Mansion. You can also check one out at Legoland Florida as well!
Looking for more replicas of world-famous landmarks? You're in luck, because here in America, we love building other people's stuff over and over again. Get yourself a taste of Paris by visiting one of the United State's two Eiffel Tower replicas, the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada or the The Eiffel Tower in the appropriately-named Paris Texas.
Want to investigate the ancient mysteries of Stonehenge? Take your pick! You can always visit Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia, scope out the Stonehenge Replica in Odessa, Texas, or head to Alliance, Nebraska where Carhenge adds a vehicular spin on the iconic landmark.
Always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa but don't want to pop for the plane ticket? Just go check out the Leaning Tower of Niles in Niles, Illinois. It's basically the same thing, minus a few years of age.
Parthenon? Forget it. Go see it the Parthenon replica in Nashville.
See that? I just saved you a grand and an intercontinental flight where you'd probably have been seated next to a screaming child. You're welcome.