One Observatory Circle - White House Museum

Vice-President’s Residence

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

One Observatory Circle in 2003 (Wikipedia)

 

One Observatory Circle

The house at One Observatory Circle in Washington, DC is the official residence of the Vice-President of the United States.

The house was designated the official residence of the vice-president in 1974, after Gerald Ford had been named as the replacement for Vice-President Spiro Agnew. Ford never moved in, however, as he was quickly elevated to president when Richard Nixon resigned. Ford named Nelson Rockefeller as his vice-president, but the Rockefellers already lived in Washington and had no desire to move, so they used the house only for entertaining. As a result, it was Walter Mondale who became the first vice-president to live in the house in 1977.

The house was built in 1894 for the superindendent of the US Naval Observatory. The observatory itself is still in use by the Navy, but the superintendent lives in another residence. In 1923, the Chief of Naval Operations took the house for himself, and it was used as such until 1974.

In 2002, neighbors of the Naval Observatory reported explosion sounds coming from the house, which many interpreted as the construction of a bunker built to help ensure the security of the vice-president's family in times of emergency. Vice-President Joe Biden was reported to have said that "a young naval officer giving him a tour of the residence showed him the hideaway, which is behind a massive steel door secured by an elaborate lock with a narrow connecting hallway lined with shelves filled with communications equipment."

Biden also reportedly said that Cheny's aides often worked on policy in a room in the house. The vice-president's spokesperson later claimed, "What the Vice President described in his comments was not ... an underground facility, but rather, an upstairs workspace in the residence, which he understood was frequently used by Vice President Cheney and his aides. That workspace was converted into an upstairs guestroom when the Bidens moved into the residence."

From Wikipedia:

The three-story brick house is compact, 39 by 77 feet (12 m by 23 m), with 9,150 square feet (850 m2) of floor space. On the ground floor are a reception hall, living room, sitting room, sun porch, dining room and small pantry, and lavatories added later to the north side. The second floor contains two bedrooms, a study, and a den. The third floor attic was originally servants' quarters and storage space. The kitchen was placed in the basement, along with a laundry room and other storerooms.

 

 

 

Overview

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The back side of the house in 2008 (Anchor Construction)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The back side of the house in 2008 (Anchor Construction)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The west side of the house in 2006 (Wonkette - OVP staff)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

One Observatory Circle around 1985

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

One Observatory Circle in 1895 (Wikipedia)

 

First Floor

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

(high resolution image)

 

Reception Hall

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Vice-President Cheney welcomes Vice-President-Elect Biden in the Reception Hall in 2008, looking southeast

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Lynne Cheney with guests in the Reception Hall in 2007, looking northwest

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Reception Hall staircase in 2006 (Wonkette - OVP staff)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The window in the staircase in 2006 (Wonkette - OVP staff)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Bushes and Reagan in the Reception Hall, circa 1985, looking northwest

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Mondales and Carters in the Reception Hall in 1977, looking southwest (NARA)

 

Library Sitting Room

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Library Sitting Room in 2007, looking northwest

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Library Sitting Room, circa 1985, looking northwest

 

Dining Room

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Dining Room in 1977, looking southwest (NARA)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

Dining Room, around 1976, looking east (NARA)

 

Living Room

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Living Room in 2008

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Living Room in 1997 (House Beautiful)

 

Veranda

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The Veranda, with gazebo in the background in 2008

 

Back Yard

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The back yard gazebo in 2006 (Wonkette - OVP staff)

Vice-President's Residence floor plan

The swimming pool in 2006 (Wonkette - OVP staff)