The Haunted Sea Mansion That's The Vice President's Home: A Tour

The Haunted Sea Mansion That's The Vice President's Home: A Tour

We've spent a lot of time these past four years talking about everything going on in the White House -- way too much, really. So now that Trump's final shit stains are being flushed from there, including the man himself, let's instead spend this quiet moment to peek inside the second most presidential house in the United States.

The Guardian via Google
No, not Mar-A-Lago.

Close your eyes. How many of you can picture the place where the Vice President lives? (People who've been obsessively watching Veep like it's a documentary can put their hands down). Since 1974, America's spare presidents have been living in Number One Observatory Circle, a mansion near the seaside of Washington D.C. And while the president's home was built to resemble the kind of neoclassicist palace a Napoleon or (more appropriately) a Nero would have pottered around in, the decrepit observatory home looks more like the kind of place a weather-based supervillain would make his lair in while holding the world hostage with a cyclone machine. 

Located in the U.S. Naval Observatory, the late 19th century Queen Anne-style manor is surrounded by the best American astronomy has to offer. The vast grounds sport one of the largest scientific libraries in the country and two of its largest telescopes. No wonder, then, that some more reserved VPs loved living there. Vice President Walter Mondale enjoyed the seclusion and quiet while adorable nerd Al Gore would exclaim to guests that "the telescopes were the coolest' 'in what had to be the inflection of an overexcited middle schooler leaning on their wheeled backpack.

U.S. National Archives
Beats having to sit around the White House rewatching The West Wing with sobbing interns. 

Other VPs didn't like their star gazy sea shanty stay too much since the home is very far away from D.C.'s political action. As such, life in the observatory can get a little boring, to the point that Secret Service agents routinely played small pranks on each other to pierce the tedium of guarding a place even the British wouldn't bother setting on fire.

Department of State, Wikimedia Commons
There are only so many times you can go giggle at where President Biden carved “Joe wuz here” in the handrail. 

But that doesn't mean that One Observatory Circle is without its share of exciting mysteries. Did you know there are plausible rumors that Vice President Dick Cheney had a secret bunker built somewhere nearby where he would slip off to for secret Asshole Illuminati meetings? Or, uh, that the house is haunted? At least, according to Vice President Mondale's then teen daughter Eleanor, who still claims she once saw the translucent specter of a man roam into her room. True story.

U.S. Naval Observatory Library, Wikimedia Commons
I didn’t even know that the ghost of Jeffrey Epstein could time travel.

Speaking of ghosting: Sadly, for the near future, the old observatory home will stand empty. Vice-President Kamala Harris has announced that she is delaying moving into Number One Observatory Circle until after renovations as Vice President Pence left it in as bad a condition as his eternal soul. Probably a prudent decision.

For more weird tangents, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

Top Image: D. Myles Cullen, Wikimedia Commons, Showtime


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