Number One Observatory Circle is the official residence of the vice president of the United States. Located on the northeast grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington
The Vice President’s Residence
With their offices located on the White House grounds, Vice Presidents since Walter Mondale have lived with their families on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory.
The white nineteenth-century house at Number One Observatory Circle in northwestern Washington, D.C. was built in 1893. Originally intended for the superintendent of the USNO, the house was so lovely that in 1923, the chief of naval operations kicked out the superintendent so he could move in himself. Historically, Vice Presidents and their families lived in their own homes, but the cost of securing these private residences grew substantially over the years. Finally, in 1974, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the Naval Observatory as a home for the Vice President.
Three years passed before any Vice President actually lived at Number One Observatory Circle. Vice President Gerald Ford acceded to the Presidency before he could use the home, and his Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, only used it for entertaining. Walter Mondale was the first Vice President to move into the home. It has since been home to the families of Vice Presidents Bush, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, Biden, and Pence.
Vice Presidents have welcomed countless guests to the residence, including foreign leaders and dignitaries. Still, the Naval Observatory has continued to operate. Scientists observe the sun, moon, planets, and selected stars, determine and precisely measure the time, and publish astronomical data needed for accurate navigation.
Located about two miles from the White House and adjacent to several embassies, the secluded home sits on a 72-acre plot known as the United States Naval Observatory. It is not open to the public.