Things That Matter

Kamala Harris Has Moved Into One Observatory Circle – Her New Home As Vice President

Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff have officailly moved into their new home in Washington, D.C. – One Observatory Circle. Many people don’t realize that the VP doesn’t just live in a section of the White House alongside the sitting president.

As the family settles into their new home, many are wondering what the veep’s residence is really like and where it’s at. Well, thankfully we’re getting a special look inside the home thanks to social media.

The Vice President has her own official home not far from the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff have moved into Number One Observatory Circle in Washington, D.C., making them the eighth vice-presidential family in American history to do so.

The official residence of the veep — often referred to as the Superintendent’s House, the Admiral’s House, or simply VPR (vice president’s residence) — the property has been home to every vice president since Walter Mondale (who served under Jimmy Carter) in 1977.

The house is known as Number One Observatory Circle and is located on a naval compound.

Built in 1893, the home is located on 12 of the 72 acres of land that comprise the U.S. Naval Observatory, a government agency where scientists work on providing astronomy-related insights for the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. It’s located approximately two-and-a-half miles north of the White House, the President’s official residence. 

Before it housed American vice presidents, Number One Observatory Circle first served as a home for U.S. Naval Observatory superintendents. 

Today, the home measures approximately 9,150 square feet of living space. The second floor is where the main suite, office and den are located, while the other bedrooms — typically used for guests and family members — can be found on the third floor.

Unlike the White House, the veep’s residence has its own pool.

Presidential homes: Kamala Harris and Joe Biden | loveproperty.com

In 2010, now-President Biden told reporters that Quayle was his “favorite vice president” because he put in the pool, noting, “my granddaughters love it.” The Bidens welcomed many guests and even made it a tradition to host Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny on St. Patrick’s Day for all eight years they were in the home.

Pence and his wife, Karen, used it to hold yearly pool parties for military families. 

Before 1974, the Vice President was often put up in hotels.

Prior to 1974, vice presidents lived in their own homes, and those who did not own properties in or around Washington were put up in hotels, according to the New York Times

“The cost of securing these private residences grew substantially over the years,” according to the White House. This cost — plus the challenges the Secret Service faced by having to learn how to properly secure all the different locations — led Congress to come up with a more permanent solution.

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