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    A look into US Vice President Kamala Harris's new official residence

    Synopsis

    It is a 128-year-old house on a 72-acre plot about 2 miles from the White House.

    Getty Images
    It was originally intended for the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory.
    Where is that? Is it a tourist spot?
    It very well should be but it is not open to the public. It’s the designated home for the US vice president in Washington DC.

    Oh sweet! So that is Kamala and Doug’s new crib, eh?
    Precisely. It is a 128-year-old house on a 72-acre plot about 2 miles from the White House, but nowhere as famous as the latter.

    What is the observatory connection?
    It was originally intended for the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory, a scientific agency. Then, in the 1920s and for five decades after, it was the residence for the chiefs of naval operations, after which it became the official residence for the past seven vice presidents.

    So where did the vice presidents live before that?
    Well, they either lived in their own homes or in hotels.

    Four years in a hotel?
    That’s rather strange, right? Calvin Coolidge, who was V-P from 1921-23, lived in a hotel during his tenure. He mentioned in his autobiography that an official residence should be provided for the vice president and that the position “should have a settled and permanent habitation...”

    The poor chap.
    Indeed. Finally, after spending thousands of dollars on security measures at the private homes of vice presidents — for instance, $245,000 on Spiro T Agnew’s home — the US Congress designated Number One Observatory Circle as “the official temporary residence” of the vice president in 1974.

    Rather curious it took so long.
    Presidential historian Mike Purdy would agree. He said it was a shame they waited for so long, but added that “in some ways, that is reflective of the insignificant role of the vice presidency as it was seen for so many years”.

    Lucky for Kamala that they sorted that out!
    Oh definitely. Observers say the new residents are likely to leave their own mark on the residence. It will be particularly interesting to see Doug Emhoff take on a role that has traditionally involved a lot of hosting and decorating for the holidays, among others.

    ( Originally published on Jan 24, 2021 )
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    5 Comments on this Story

    Dawie Van Emmenes41 days ago
    The worst thing that could have happened to the United States. The radical left is in charge. Violence in cities are escalating. RIP United States.
    Arun41 days ago
    It's indicative of the primitiveness of the US administration!
    Rolando Jr. Antonio41 days ago
    Its a must that the Vice President must have an office of his/her own. Give some respect and courtesy to the second most powerful person in the country. The US government have a lot of funds, why cannot provide an office to the VP? It may not be as big and as glamorous as the White House, but a decent office will do.
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