August 10, 2022


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Within Blair House, the President’s Visitor Household, With Interiors Developed by Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton

washington, dc  may 9 the blair house, also known as the pres

The Washington PostGetty Photos

It is no secret that the White Dwelling is the most important home of the President of the United States, but there is one more presidential home (albeit just one that is not utilised by presidents as typically) that need to be on each structure and background aficionados’ radars: the President’s Guest Home, also recognized as Blair Residence. While it’s not as nicely regarded as the People’s House, the President’s Visitor House spares no lack of intriguing history—including a presidential assassination try and interiors created by famous decorators Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton.

The President’s Guest Household consists of 4 connected townhouses, but it is frequently named by the identify of just 1 of the properties. The 4 dwellings are Blair Property, Lee Dwelling, Peter Parker House, and 704 Jackson Location. In whole, these buildings boast 119 rooms spanning above 200,000 square feet, generating this residence even bigger than the White Dwelling. Blair Household is named for Francis Preston Blair, a journalist who was a friend to and supporter of President Andrew Jackson—and just one of the home’s first entrepreneurs, soon after obtaining it for just $6,500 in 1836.

the president’s guest house, which consists of four townhouses
The President’s Visitor Property, which is composed of 4 townhouses.

Carol M. Highsmith/The Library of Congress

Given that the United States govt procured these 4 townhouses in 1942, the President’s Visitor Home is ordinarily used as a position for friends of the president to remain, as its name indicates. There are a number of presidents who have inhabited Blair Residence, even though, like Harry S. Truman, who, along with his spouse and children and White Dwelling staff members, lived below from 1948 to 1952, even though the People’s Property underwent a substantial reconstruction. For the duration of Truman’s time spent residing here, he survived an assassination endeavor led by two users of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

Other notable figures who have stayed at Blair Residence involve Queen Elizabeth II, Justin Trudeau, Margaret Thatcher, Emmanuel Macron, George W. Bush, and Vladimir Putin. Usually, it is tradition that the president-elect of the United States stays at the President’s Visitor Dwelling in the days primary up to the inauguration. In fact, it was just confirmed before this 7 days that President-elect Joe Biden will be keeping at Blair Residence the night prior to his inauguration, which will acquire position next 7 days. Some presidents have stayed somewhere else in the guide-up to their initially day as president, like Bill Clinton, who opted to remain at the close by Hay-Adams Hotel, and Barack Obama, who could not stay at the residence due to the point that the then-key minister of Australia, John Howard, was by now booked there.

Blair Household has a further extensive-standing custom—following the loss of life of a previous president, customers of their family members typically continue to be at this home amid the funeral solutions. The most the latest instance of this custom transpired in 2018, when the Bush loved ones stayed listed here immediately after previous President George H.W. Bush’s passing.

washington, dc  may 9 the blair house, also known as the pres
The Blair Household library.

The Washington PublishGetty Illustrations or photos

Blair House—which was designed in 1824 for Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first Surgeon Common of the United States—is a Federal-design and style townhouse, substantially like other edifices viewed all over Washington, D.C. In 1985, its interiors have been redecorated by celebrated designers Mario Buatta, Mark Hampton, and Scott Salvator (Buatta’s style affiliate). Hampton, who was no stranger to creating the interiors of presidential residences, also brought his talents to the White Household to adorn for a variety of presidents, such as Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Monthly bill Clinton. As portion of this renovation challenge, Buatta was mostly liable for the decoration of Lee Dwelling, even though Hampton took on Blair Home.

Arguably the most eye-catching aspect of Lee Dwelling is the hand-painted 18th century Chinese wallpaper (pictured higher than) that takes middle stage on the walls of the Dillon Drawing Room—which was at first called the Lee Drawing Space, just after United States Navy officer and a former resident of this home, Samuel Phillips Lee (it was later on renamed for C. Douglas Dillon, former United States Secretary of the Treasury). Dillon’s wife, Phyllis, obtained the charming wallpaper in 1964, beneath the layout abilities of decorator Eleanor McMillen Brown. In the course of the 1985 renovation, this wallpaper was taken out and restored.

the jackson place dining room, which is part of blair house
The Jackson Position eating area, which is aspect of Blair Household.

Carol M. Highsmith

As for Blair Dwelling, we have President Harry S. Truman to thank for 1 of its most outstanding assets—a mantel designed by renowned architect Charles McKim (of architectural business McKim, Mead & White), which was moved, per Truman’s ask for, to Blair Home from the White Property, where it was initially component of former To start with Woman Edith Roosevelt’s bed room.

If we’ve piqued your fascination and you’d like to discover extra about Blair House, it is not the best of responsibilities to rating an invite to this historic house—but there are two textbooks (each of which take place to have the similar title, Blair Dwelling: The President’s Visitor Property) that additional investigate this extraordinary dwelling: just one that focuses on its heritage, published by historian William Seale, and a different, which focuses on the home’s 1985 renovation, penned by the decorators dependable for the wonderful redesigns, Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton.

In the meantime, the President’s Guest Property is likely remaining prepped for President-elect Joe Biden’s forthcoming keep future 7 days.

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