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A Look Inside The OTHER White House Where VP Kamala Harris Will Live

Jennifer Havener
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Everyone knows that the President of the United States lives in the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But very little attention is given to the residency of the Vice President. The transition between administrations is kicking off in high gear. We already know that Biden plans to disinfect the White House before moving in. 

It’s not clear if Harris plans the same for the Vice President residency. If she does, it will be a big job. The home has over 30 rooms! What other fun facts should you know about where the Vice President of the United States lives?

How JFK’s Assassination Spawned a Secure Residence for the Vice President

Number One Observatory Circle is the official address of the Vice President’s residency. In the 1960s, Congress earmarked the Naval Observatory as the grounds to build a home for the Vice President. The directive came as a response to President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. 

Before JFK’s assassination, the Vice President wasn’t given round-the-clock, in-home protection from the Secret Service. While Congress instructed that a home should be built for the VP, the Vietnam War temporarily halted those plans. In the meantime, the Vice Presidents’ private homes were updated for protection. 

However, the obscene cost caused backlash among tax-paying citizens. As a result, the idea of a special home for the Vice President was in focus again in the 1970s. Instead of building a brand-new home, officials chose the former Admiral’s Home at the Naval Observatory as the permanent home of the Vice President of the United States. 

Vice President Walter Mondale was the first to move into One Observatory Circle with his family in 1977. The previous Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, used the property for parties, but never lived there full-time. 

Where Did VPs Live Before 1977? 

Without a set residency for the Vice President and their families, they were left to their own devices. Greater Greater Washington reports that renting boarding rooms was a popular choice in the early days of the United States. In the early 1900s, hotels became the residence for many Vice Presidents. Of course, some VPs chose to rent entire homes. 

In January of 2021, Kamala Harris and the Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, will move into One Observatory Circle. We know that President Biden plans to bring two dogs and a cat into the White House. However, Kamala Harris hasn’t announced plans to bring any pets. 

Can You Tour the Vice President’s Home? 

The Vice President’s home is mostly obscured from the public’s view. The residence is closed to the public and doesn’t offer tours. But CBS News got an inside peek at the home when Vice President Pence was preparing to move in. Peep the huge library and personal telescope in the video below. 

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