It’s no key that the White Household is the primary home of the President of the United States, but there is another presidential property (albeit one that is not employed by presidents as usually) that should really be on both of those style and heritage aficionados’ radars: the President’s Guest Dwelling, also acknowledged as Blair Home. Whilst it is not as very well identified as the People’s House, the President’s Visitor Dwelling spares no lack of intriguing history—including a presidential assassination try and interiors intended by legendary decorators Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton.
The President’s Guest Home consists of four related townhouses, but it’s normally identified as by the name of just 1 of the residences. The four dwellings are Blair Residence, Lee Property, Peter Parker Home, and 704 Jackson Area. In total, these properties boast 119 rooms spanning more than 200,000 square feet, earning this residence even much larger than the White Dwelling. Blair House is named for Francis Preston Blair, a journalist who was a mate to and supporter of President Andrew Jackson—and just one of the home’s initially homeowners, after acquiring it for just $6,500 in 1836.
Due to the fact the United States federal government bought these four townhouses in 1942, the President’s Visitor Household is usually utilized as a position for company of the president to stay, as its identify implies. There are a number of presidents who have inhabited Blair Property, even though, such as Harry S. Truman, who, together with his spouse and children and White Home employees, lived right here from 1948 to 1952, when the People’s Property underwent a significant reconstruction. For the duration of Truman’s time put in living here, he survived an assassination attempt led by two associates of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Bash.
Other notable figures who have stayed at Blair House consist of Queen Elizabeth II, Justin Trudeau, Margaret Thatcher, Emmanuel Macron, George W. Bush, and Vladimir Putin. Typically, it is custom that the president-elect of the United States stays at the President’s Guest Property in the days leading up to the inauguration. In simple fact, it was just confirmed before this 7 days that President-elect Joe Biden will be staying at Blair House the night before his inauguration, which will take spot subsequent 7 days. Some presidents have stayed in other places in the direct-up to their 1st working day as president, like Invoice Clinton, who opted to continue to be at the nearby Hay-Adams Resort, and Barack Obama, who could not stay at the home owing to the simple fact that the then-prime minister of Australia, John Howard, was previously booked there.
Blair Dwelling has one more extended-standing custom—following the dying of a previous president, associates of their family generally remain at this home amid the funeral companies. The most recent instance of this custom happened in 2018, when the Bush loved ones stayed here soon after former President George H.W. Bush’s passing.
Blair House—which was created in 1824 for Dr. Joseph Lovell, the initially Surgeon Normal of the United States—is a Federal-style townhouse, considerably like other edifices found throughout Washington, D.C. In 1985, its interiors ended up redecorated by celebrated designers Mario Buatta, Mark Hampton, and Scott Salvator (Buatta’s style and design affiliate). Hampton, who was no stranger to planning the interiors of presidential residences, also brought his skills to the White Dwelling to decorate for many presidents, like Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Monthly bill Clinton. As section of this renovation undertaking, Buatta was mostly dependable for the decoration of Lee Dwelling, even though Hampton took on Blair Dwelling.
Arguably the most eye-catching element of Lee Dwelling is the hand-painted 18th century Chinese wallpaper (pictured higher than) that takes center stage on the walls of the Dillon Drawing Room—which was originally known as the Lee Drawing Home, following United States Navy officer and a former resident of this house, Samuel Phillips Lee (it was later on renamed for C. Douglas Dillon, former United States Secretary of the Treasury). Dillon’s wife, Phyllis, acquired the charming wallpaper in 1964, underneath the structure know-how of decorator Eleanor McMillen Brown. During the 1985 renovation, this wallpaper was taken out and restored.
As for Blair House, we have President Harry S. Truman to thank for one particular of its most impressive assets—a mantel designed by renowned architect Charles McKim (of architectural agency McKim, Mead & White), which was moved, for each Truman’s ask for, to Blair Home from the White Dwelling, wherever it was originally portion of previous To start with Lady Edith Roosevelt’s bed room.
If we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to discover much more about Blair House, it is not the best of jobs to rating an invite to this historic house—but there are two textbooks (the two of which happen to have the same title, Blair Dwelling: The President’s Guest Dwelling) that additional examine this exceptional house: one that focuses on its heritage, written by historian William Seale, and a different, which focuses on the home’s 1985 renovation, composed by the decorators responsible for the wonderful redesigns, Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton.
In the meantime, the President’s Visitor Household is possible being prepped for President-elect Joe Biden’s forthcoming keep up coming week.
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