Inside Blair House, the presidential guest house that’s bigger than the White House and known as the ‘world’s most exclusive hotel’

blair house trump bush

Summary List Placement

The White House may be the most famous building along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, but there’s a lesser-known government residence next door that has played a role in US history and American diplomacy for decades.

The Blair House, just steps from the north lawn of the White House, is the official presidential guest house.

Since World War II, it has acted as the “world’s most exclusive hotel,” hosting heads of state, royalty, and presidents-elect.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte stayed there for three days during President Donald Trump’s first official state visit.

And former President George W. Bush stayed there with his family before his father’s DC funeral.

While the White House remains the main meeting location for US presidents and their foreign visitors, the guest house carries significance. Take a look inside Blair House.

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Blair House is the official presidential guesthouse.

It’s just across the street from the White House, at 1651 Pennsylvania Ave.

Blair House was built in the 1820s as a home for Joseph Lovell, the eighth surgeon general of the US Army.

In 1836, Francis Blair, a close friend and supporter of President Andrew Jackson, bought the home for $6,500.

The US government then purchased it in 1942, while Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

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It has since served as the official guesthouse for foreign dignitaries, heads of state, and visiting delegations to Washington.

President Harry S. Truman stayed in the house for about four years during his presidency while the White House was being renovated.

In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to assassinate Truman at the guesthouse. Police officers who stopped them from entering the home killed one and wounded the other at the scene.

Today, Blair House makes up a complex of “four seamlessly connected townhomes,” with 110 rooms across roughly 70,000 square feet.

Sources: US State Department, Blair House

It’s technically larger than the White House.

Sources: US State Department, Blair House

Each of Blair House’s 14 guest rooms has “a full bathroom, three formal dining rooms, two large conference rooms, a hot and cold kitchen overseen by an executive chef and sous chef, a fully equipped beauty salon, an exercise room, and an in-house laundry facility.”

Source: Blair House

There are also conference rooms, a library, and many seating areas for more intimate meetings. The finishings are traditional and luxurious.

“Since Blair House isn’t a hotel, the approach is to make guests feel like they’re staying in a personal residence,” says an article about the property in the November 2001 edition of the US Department of State’s magazine.

Source: State Magazine

Only those who are officially invited by the president are allowed to stay there.

But an exception is made for presidents waiting to be sworn into …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Life

      

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