We all know where the President and his family reside – the White House, of course. We’ve seen photos many times. On TV. In print. Maybe you’ve even been on a White House tour. It’s wonderfully grand and so rich in history. But have you ever wondered where the Vice President and his family live?
If you’d like to know, I can help you with that! It’s located on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory. It was originally intended for the superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory. The house was so lovely that in 1923, the chief of naval operations kicked out the superintendent so he could move in himself.
This was news to me. Historically, Vice Presidents and their families lived in their own homes, but the cost of securing these private residences grew substantially over the years. Finally, in 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the Naval Observatory as a home for the Vice President.
Three years passed before any Vice President actually lived at Number One Observatory Circle. Vice President Gerald Ford acceded to the Presidency before he could use the home, and his Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, only used it for entertaining. Walter Mondale was the first Vice President to move into the home. It has since been home to the families of Vice Presidents Bush, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, and Biden.
Vice Presidents have welcomed countless guests to the residence, including foreign leaders and dignitaries. Still, the Naval Observatory has continued to operate. Scientists observe the sun, moon, planets and selected stars, determine and precisely measure the time, and publish astronomical data needed for accurate navigation.
Home as it was in 1893…