Located on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory (USNO), the white 19th Century house at Number One Observatory Circle in northwestern Washington, D.C., was built in 1893. Originally intended for the superintendent of the USNO, the house was so lovely that in 1923, the chief of naval operations kicked out the superintendent so he could move in himself. Historically, Vice Presidents and their families lived in their own homes, but the cost of securing these private residences grew substantially over the years. Finally, in 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the Naval Observatory as a home for the Vice President.
The three-story brick house—completed in April 1893—is compact, 39 by 77 feet, with 9,150 square feet 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.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
Exempt from National Register listing (under U.S. ownership)