August 30, 2008

Number One Observatory Circle, Vice President’s House

Posted in Historical Sites, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:05 pm by Kendal

Washington, DC

Since it is Election Time, I have decided to focus on only historic places that has to do with Presidents or Vice Presidents.

Number One Observatory is home to the Vice President during the time they serve in office.  The house is a Victorian Georgian Architecture that was constructed in the late 1800s.  The house was originally constructed for the superintendent of the observatory.  During the early 1900s the Chief of the Naval operations booted the superintendent from the house because he found it lovely and wanted to take up residence in the house.

Up till the 1970s the Vice Presidents maintained at their residence but the expense of providing and securing a different residence, some far from Washington became expensive, so the house was restored to its former glory to serve as the Vice Presidents home while serving.

Today on the house grounds the observatory is still in use and serving a person to monitor the moons, stars, and sun.

Wiki article here.

(America’s Castle and Treasures endorse Obama and Biden)

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1 Comment »

  1. Patrick said,

    I’m not so sure the house can be described as “Victorian Georgian” as that even may be a contradiction in terms. It is more likely described as a common Queen Ann style of the era. Although I can see moving walls to open up some of the typically chopped up space of this era it’s a shame that more restoration hasn’t been done. That is, the whitewash so common after the Centennial sentiments flooded the country have hit this house too in an effort to make it seem more “Colonial.”

    At the very least the outside of the house could be returned to it’s original brick with light gray window trim. Actually the house is too small for any formal entertaining and another location for the Vice President would be in order except for security concerns. I’ve always thought the President and Vice President should have new, expansive homes somewhere in Virginia and use the historic houses for entertaining.

    A presidential office, a “west wing” could be located nearer to the Capital building and built with all of the current and future technological innovations needed. It would give the President a place to live out of the hustle and bustle and yet preserve the White House as a “house museum” to display, much like Buckingham Palace, the heritage of the country. Something likely never to happen is returning and restoring the current White House back to it’s red brick exterior having been painted to cover the burn marks of the British.

    Ever notice the “flower boxes” between the columns of the north portico? I once asked the White House gardener why they were there, being totally out of place historically, and he said they were placed there to hide the spot lights. Too bad, with today’s lighting technology lighting could flow from the top of the structure rather than the bottom and those boxy flower containers with their oh-so-mundane red geraniums could be relegated to the scrap book of bad ideas.


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