While Joe Biden and Paul Ryandebate the issues of why their running mates should be elected president and they should be the country’s vice president, they are also in a battle for the right to live at Number One Observatory Circle.
While tourists visit the public spaces of the president’s home, the vice president’s house is not open to public tours. The 9,150 square foot, three story Victorian mansion was built in 1893 for the superintendent of the Naval Observatory. The estate has only recently been used as the residence of the vice president, with the first vice president to live there being Walter Mondale.
Before Mondale the vice presidents either stayed in their own homes or they were set up in lavish hotel suites which became expensive and a security problem so in 1974 Congress voted to make the house at the Naval Observatory the official vice president’s residence.
With the way history worked out Vice President Gerald Ford became President Ford before he even had a chance to move in and his vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, already had a magnificent Washington DC home so he stayed in his own home and used the vice president’s residence for parties.
Without the same housing allowances as their boss, the vice presidents had to either donate remodeling costs or rely on donations to cover the expenses, but they have all pitched in one way or another. At publishing time of this article Joe Biden lives here.
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