The Queen Anne-style home provides privacy and a respite from the hustle and bustle of Washington that isn’t available at the White House, which is “nice and beautiful, but you sort of live above the store,” a declared Mr. Dufour.
The seven vice presidents who lived at Number One Observatory Circle before Ms Harris loved the expansive grounds and the ability to make the house their own. When the Bidens lived there, they painted the dining room the same shade of blue as their Delaware home and hung pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art.
It has also become something of a tradition for every new tenant to chair the improvements to the 128-year-old home. The Cheneys, for example, have renovated the kitchenette. The Pence added a beehive. (On Tuesday, an official in Ms Harris’s office said the bees would remain “absolutely”.) And the Bidens added a small garden that features the names of the former occupants and their pets, carved into stones surrounding a fountain. .
“Each person added something to make the home better for the next family,” Jill Biden told the Washington Post as the then-vice-president and second lady Bidens prepared to leave the residence in 2017. Most of the residents have hired a designer to help, but Ms. Harris and Mr. Emhoff have yet to do so.
On Tuesday, an official in Ms Harris’s office said the vice president and Mr Emhoff would “discuss long-term plans” that incorporate elements of California, where she served as attorney general and senator, and its cultural heritage. as the first woman of color to hold the post.
Ms Harris’ predecessors often hosted personal or formal events at home and often interacted with locals, who deal with the daily blockage of motorcades and the noise of Marine Two flying above.
“You have to be aware when you are hosting an event,” Mr. Dufour said. “People in the neighborhood feel a lot of traffic.”