Vice President Housing: Who Pays?

does vice president get a home while in office

For over 185 years, vice presidents of the United States had to find and pay for their own homes. However, in 1974, Congress designated a Victorian mansion on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory as the official residence of the vice president. Located about two miles from the White House, the home has been occupied by vice presidents and their families since Walter Mondale.

Characteristics Values
Year of official residence 1974
Location Number One Observatory Circle, United States Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.
Distance from the White House 2 miles
Size of the plot 72 acres
Size of the house 9,000 square feet
Style of the house Queen Anne
Previous residents Chiefs of Naval Operations and their families

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The vice president's residence is not open to the public

The vice president's official residence is located on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. The house, known as Number One Observatory Circle, was built in 1893 for the observatory superintendent. It was designated as the official residence of the vice president in 1974, and Walter Mondale became the first vice president to live there in 1977.

Despite being a designated official residence, the vice president's house is not open to the public. Unlike the White House, there are no public tours of the residence, and only a small portion of the home can be seen from the street. The seclusion and privacy offered by the residence are some of the reasons why vice presidents and their families have enjoyed living there.

The house sits on a 72-acre plot and is described as a stately Queen Anne-style home with green window shutters. Over the years, different vice presidents have added amenities such as a pool, a jogging track, a garden, and a horseshoe pit. The house has 33 rooms, including six bedrooms, a dining room, a garden room, a study, and an attic.

The vice president's residence has a rich history, having served as the home of the superintendent of the Naval Observatory and later the chief of naval operations before becoming the vice president's residence. The house has undergone various renovations and upgrades over the years, with some funded by private donations and others by taxpayer dollars.

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The vice president's home is on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory

The Vice President of the United States has an official residence on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. The house, known as Number One Observatory Circle, was built in 1893 for the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory. It is a 9,000-square-foot Queen Anne-style house, with a library, basement kitchen, and several bedrooms. It sits on a 72-acre plot and is located about two miles from the White House.

For the first 185 years after the creation of the office of the vice president, there was no federally designated home for the vice president and their family. It was up to the vice president to find and pay for their own home, which was an added expense, as most vice presidents are from outside Washington. Finally, in 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the US Naval Observatory as a home for the vice president. However, it wasn't until 1977 that Walter Mondale became the first vice president to live in the residence with his family. Every vice president since has lived there.

The vice president's residence is not accessible to the public, which is one of the reasons why the public knows little about it. The home is secluded, and only a small portion of it can be seen from the street. However, vice presidents have welcomed countless guests to the residence, including foreign leaders and dignitaries.

Over the years, vice presidents and their families have made various additions and renovations to the residence. For example, George H.W. Bush had a horseshoe pit installed, while Dan Quayle added an exercise room, pool house, and swimming pool. The Bidens created a "Family Heritage Garden" with flagstones representing the vice presidents and their family members who have lived there, including their pets.

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The home was designated for the vice president in 1974

The 1974 congressional authorization covered the cost of refurbishment and furnishing the house. Although Number One Observatory Circle was made available to the vice president in 1974, it was three years before a vice president actually lived there. Vice President Gerald Ford became president before he could use the house, and his vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, only used it for social functions. Rockefeller chose the $35,000 "cage bed" by the surrealistic artist Max Ernst for the master bedroom. Rockefeller had no interest in living at Number One Observatory Circle, as he already had a luxurious mansion in Washington, DC.

Walter Mondale was the first vice president to move into the home in 1977. Every vice president since has lived there, including George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are the current residents.

Stone Co. Code: Mobile Home Limit

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The vice president has a government jet at their disposal

The vice president of the United States has a government jet at their disposal. This is known as Air Force Two, and it is a modified version of a commercial Boeing 757-200. The plane features a communications centre, a stateroom, and 32 seats for journalists. It also has a galley, two bathrooms, and closets. The vice president is generally prohibited from flying on Air Force One, which is reserved for the president.

Air Force Two is used by the vice president for security reasons, as it is customary for the president and vice president not to travel together. The plane is also used by the first lady, cabinet members, and other government officials.

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The vice president's protection by the Secret Service ends after leaving office

The vice president of the United States lives in a residence at Number One Observatory Circle on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. The house, built in 1893, was originally intended for the superintendent of the observatory but was later used by the chief of naval operations. In 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house as a home for the vice president, and in 1975, it became the official residence.

Walter Mondale was the first vice president to live in the home, and since then, it has been occupied by the families of vice presidents Bush, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, Biden, and Pence. The residence is not open to the public, and only a small portion of the home can be seen from the street.

The vice president and their family are protected by a Secret Service detail while in office. However, this protection does not extend to the vice president's immediate family, nor does it continue after they leave office (unless they ascend to the presidency or are elected to it). Former vice presidents are entitled to Secret Service protection for up to six months after leaving office, although this window can be extended by the Department of Homeland Security.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, since 1974, the US vice president has had a federally designated home on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory.

The vice president's residence is located at Number One Observatory Circle, about two miles from the White House.

The house was built in 1893 and was originally intended for the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory. In 1923, the chief of naval operations moved into the house, and it served as the residence for the chiefs of naval operations and their families until 1974.

Walter Mondale was the first vice president to live in the official residence.

The 9,000-square-foot Queen Anne-style house has a library, a basement kitchen, and several bedrooms. It is not open to the public, and only a small portion of the home can be seen from the street.

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