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The Question:

Where does the vice president live?

The Answer:

In July 1974 Congress designated a house on the southeast corner of 34th Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Washington DC where the vice president of the United States would live. Located on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory, the house was built in 1893 for the Superintendent of the Observatory.

Before 1974, vice presidents either bought a temporary home in Washington DC or stayed at hotels.

Gerald and Betty Ford were the first family eligible to live in the house. But the resignation of President Richard Nixon occurred before renovations on the house were completed, and the Fords headed to the White House. New Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, of the wealthy Rockefeller family, used the house mainly to entertain.

The first full-time residents were Walter Mondale, President Jimmy Carter's vice president, and his wife, Joan, in 1977. Every vice president since has lived there.

The house is a three-story, white-painted brick, Victorian-style home with 9,150 square feet of floor space. It served as the home of the chief of the Naval Observatory beginning in 1929. This is why people often call it the Admiral's House.

You can see photos of the house, circa 1997, at At Home With the Gores.

—The Editors

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