The question, “Does the Vice President live in the White House,” might sound confusing, though it’s relevant. Citizens are entitled to inquire about things that concern their vice president.
The United States Vice President is a highly revered executive position. It’s the office of the country’s “number two” citizen.
So, where does the “number two” citizen of the country live? Do Vice Presidents reside in the White House alongside the president or elsewhere? Read to find out.
Does The Vice President Live In The White House?
No, the Vice President doesn’t live in the White House but lives in a separate apartment built for VPs. Vice Presidents don’t need to live in the White House to perform their duties.
In addition, Vice Presidents can decide where they want to live. But they don’t live in the White House. Only the United States President lives in the White House.
Where Does The Vice President Live?
Where do Vice Presidents live if they don’t live in the White House? VPs live in the Naval Observatory on Number One Observatory Circle, Northwest Washington, D.C.
In the past, Vice Presidents lived in their homes and came to work in the White House from there. But Congress didn’t fancy such. The cost of private home rental was skyrocketing and becoming a serious financial burden to VPs. So, Congress had to move quickly to provide an apartment for VPs closer to the White House.
So, VPs live in the Naval Observatory. The house was built in 1893 but wasn’t originally built for VPs. Instead, it was built for the Superintendent of the United States Navy. Unfortunately, the Superintendent of the Navy didn’t even spend much time in the house.
The house was so beautiful that in 1923, the Chief of Naval Operations kicked out the Superintendent of the Navy and moved in. The Chief of Naval Operations didn’t spend much time on the property either.
In 1974, Congress decided to make the property a permanent residence for Vice Presidents and their families while in office. Congress understood the financial implication Vice Presidents would face should they rent a private home.
Of course, you don’t expect the United States Vice President to rent a cheap home. It will be a slap on the face of the government. So making the Naval Observatory available for VPs was a good decision.
First Vice President To Occupy In The Navy Observatory
The Vice President’s home can easily be anyone’s dream home. Let’s put the position and prestige being a vice president carries. It’s a beautiful home and one befitting for a Vice President.
Now, here is the shocker. Vice Presidents didn’t start using the Number One Naval Observatory immediately; Congress made it available for VPs. Three years passed before a VP started living there. Gerald Ford acceded to the presidency even before he could get the chance to move in.
Nelson Rockefeller didn’t move into the Number One Naval Observatory despite having the opportunity to do so. Rather, he used it for entertainment purposes. Americans thought he would move in after the housewarming organized in 1975, but he didn’t.
Walter Mondale was the first United States Vice President to live in the Naval Observatory. He moved in with his lovely family in 1977, and since then, the Naval Observatory has served as the home of Vice Presidents.
Many Vice Presidents have lived there since Walter F. Mondale. These include Vice President Bush, Quayle, Gore, Biden, and Pence. Kamala Harris and her husband moved into the VP’s official residence following the completion of the recent renovation.
Vice Presidents of the United States of America, both past and present, have welcomed thousands of dignitaries and foreign leaders to the Naval Observatory. It continues to remain the official residence of the United States Vice President.
A Handy Tip: The Vice President can decide against packing to the Naval Observatory. No law says that a VP must live in the Naval Observatory. The same thing goes for the U.S. President.
The president can decide against living in the White House. No law states that he or she must live there. But we all know that living in the White House is the most sensible option for the president. Again, the White House has all the amenities and security the president needs. So, while abandoning it for something else?
It will be difficult to have a president in modern-day America that will refuse to live in the White House. We know George Washington didn’t live in the White House, and we didn’t expect him to. Why? It was under construction throughout his presidency.
He served from 1789 to 1797, but the White House construction started around 1792. It took over 8 years to finish the White House construction. It was finished in 1800, and John Adams became the U.S. President.
Where Does The Vice President Work?
The Vice President is United States “number two” citizen and works hand-in-hand with the president. The Vice President steps in when the president isn’t around to run the country’s affairs. So, it’s an important office.
The Vice President’s office is on the White House premises. The main office is in the West Wing. In addition, the Vice President and staff have offices in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), situated next to the West Wing.
These officers are termed “the Vice President’s ceremonial offices” because they use them for such. The VP organizes meetings and press interviews in these offices.
A Handy Tip: During Dwight D. Eisenhower’s regime, these officers were the Navy secretary’s office. It was used to house the state, Navy and War Departments.
10 Must-Know Facts About the Naval Observatory Where Vice Presidents Live
So, the VPs live in the Naval Observatory. However, there are several things to note about this magnificent building. Let’s dive in.
- The house wasn’t originally for VPs. It was the Naval Observatory superintendent’s home. Later on, the chief of naval operations took over before the VP. The Naval Observatory became the Vice President’s official residence in 1974.
- The Naval Observatory is customizable. Vice Presidents that lived here in the past have added several amenities such as a swimming pool, jogging track, etc. So, VPs have the privilege of redecorating it to suit their taste.
- There’s a chance the house is haunted. Walter F. Mondale’s daughter once complained that she saw a ghost in her bedroom.
- The VP’s house is on the grounds of the Naval Observatory, where scientists collect astronomic data to ensure accurate navigation.
- The Number One Observatory Circle contains 33 rooms and measures 9,150 square feet.
- Dan Quayle added the swimming pool in the Naval Observatory.
- Dick and Lynn Cheney decorated the Naval Observatory in neutral colors.
- Joe Biden once surprised his wife in the Naval Observatory on Valentine’s Day in 2010. He bought a tree swing on the grounds of the residence.
- No one can live in the Naval Observatory except the Vice President of the United States of America. The VP can also invite any guest they please into the property.
- Vice President Walter F. Mondale was the first Vice President to live on the property. Nelson Rockefeller had an opportunity to live on the property. But instead of moving in with his family, he used it for entertainment. He even organized a housewarming party but didn’t move in.
So, does the Vice President live in the White House? No, the United States Vice President doesn’t live in the White House. But the president of the United States lives in the White House.
The VP’s official residence is the Number One Observatory Circle. It was formerly built for the Naval Observatory Superintendent. It became the official residence of the United States Vice President in 1974.
Walter F. Mondale was the first Vice President to live in the Naval Observatory. He moved in with his family and stayed throughout his tenure. Several VPs have lived here after him. These include Vice President George Bush, Quayle, Gore, Biden, Pence and Kamala Harris.