After quite two months of living in temporary housing, vice chairman Kamala Harris will soon be ready to unpack and unwind at her official residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Symone Sanders, senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the vice chairman , tweeted Thursday that Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will enter the official vice presidential residence on Massachusetts Avenue in northwest Washington next week after some repairs are completed. Sanders didn't provide a date.The repairs included maintenance on the heating, ventilation and air con system, replacing chimney liners and refurbishing a number of the hardwood floors within the 19th century Victorian house, Sanders said.
The home is Constructed in 1893, favorite Observatory Circle boasts three floors, six bedrooms, a wraparound porch, sun room, and, consistent with rumors, an underground bunker. Architect Leon E. Dessez designed the Queen Anne-style house, which reportedly cost around $20,000 to create .
It had been built with a red brick but was later painted white within the 1960s, after Victorian-style architecture fell out of fashion.
The vice presidential residence doesn't offer public tours, but the interiors are photographed over the years for various publications and through events, like visits from foreign dignitaries.
Number One Observatory Circle is found on the 72-acre grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Northwest Washington, D.C. The property is about 2 1/2 miles from the vice president’s offices at the White House and Eisenhower Executive office block .
The USNO is one among the oldest scientific agencies and focuses on providing astronomy-related information to the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. Favorite Observatory Circle was constructed to deal with superintendents of the USNO, but consistent with the White House, “the house was so lovely that in 1923, the chief of naval operations kicked out the superintendent so he could move in himself.”
Before 1974, vice presidents resided within the ir own homes if that they had property in the D.C. area, or in hotels if they didn’t. This approach presented security challenges to the key Service and aroused being pretty pricey.
The cost of securing these private residences grew substantially over the years,” the White House website states. “Finally, in 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the Naval Observatory as a home for the vice chairman .”
No vice chairman lived within the home until Mondale’s arrival three years later in 1977. (Gerald Ford became president before he could move in, and his veep, Nelson Rockefeller, “only used it for entertaining.”)
The various vice presidents who’ve lived at favorite Observatory Circle made their own unique additions to the property. Bush, who served as vice chairman from 1981 to 1989, added a horseshoe pit and quarter-mile jogging track.
Dan Quayle opted for an exercise room and swimming bath , the latter of which rather endeared him to his successors. In 2010, then-Vice President Biden remarked that Quayle was his “favorite vice president” due to the addition of the pool, which his “granddaughters love.”