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Blair House

  • Blair House
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    This photograph of Blair House was taken by Bruce White for the White House Historical Association on April 18, 2013. Built in 1824 for Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first person to hold the title Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Blair House is named for Frances Preston Blair. Blair served as the editor of the "Washington Globe" and was a political advisor to several presidents including Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. During World War II, the U.S. government purchased Blair House as a guest house for visiting foreign dignitaries. President Truman and his family also resided there from 1948-1952, while the White House underwent renovations. The New Executive Office Building is visible in the background.
  • Blair House in the Glow of Lights
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    This photograph of Blair House was taken by Bruce White for the White House Historical Association on May 30, 2013. Built in 1824 for Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first person to hold the title Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Blair House is named for Frances Preston Blair. Blair served as the editor of the "Washington Globe" and was a political advisor to several presidents including Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. During World War II, the U.S. government purchased Blair House as a guest house for visiting foreign dignitaries. President Truman and his family also resided there from 1948-1952, while the White House underwent renovations.
  • Principal Suite Master Bedroom, Blair House
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph by Durston Saylor shows the master bedroom in the Principal Suite at Blair House. It is decorated with Georgian period English furniture, which was the popular style during the American Revolutionary period. The chandelier is cut glass and was manufactured by Perry & Parker of London early in their partnership, circa 1798-1818. Notably, it was never wired for electricity. Blair House, located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the President's Guest House. The Principal Suite is used by foreign dignitaries and also by the president-elect before inauguration.
  • Principal Suite Sitting Room, Blair House
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph by Durston Saylor shows the sitting room of the Principal Suite at Blair House. Blair House, located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the President's Guest House. This is the grandest bedroom in the house and is reserved for leaders of visiting diplomatic missions. The president-elect also stays in this suite at Blair House before inauguration. The portraits on the wall are believed to be Caleb and Sarah Sedley Whitefoord. Caleb Whitefoord served as secretary to the British peace commission that formally ended the American Revolutionary War in 1783.
  • Blair House Dining Room
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph by Durston Saylor is of the Dining Room in Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and it is where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. The room is located at the end of the entrance hall of the house. While this room had the potential to be used for large parties, the Blair family, the one-time residents of the house, used it for dinners with family and close friends. One of the frequent guests was Andrew Jackson, who was a friend of the Blairs.
  • Blair House Guest Book Volume 13
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    This is a photograph of Volume 13 of the Blair House Guest Book, signed on March 12, 2012, by Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland. The Guest Book is located in the Rear Drawing Room of Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
  • Curio Room, Blair House
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph by Durston Saylor shows the Curio Room of Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and it is where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. Gist Blair - grandson of Francis Preston Blair, the first Blair to reside in the house - and his wife Laura had an affinity for antiques and other collectables. By 1919 the Blairs commissioned their cousin Nathaniel Wyatt to build them a room in the house to display their collection of antiques. The Blairs called this room the Curio Room because of their diverse collection of antiquities. The portrait above the fireplace is of Gist Blair in his uniform from World War I. It was painted by Ossip Perleman.
  • Blair House Library
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph by Durston Saylor shows the library in Blair House. Gist Blair, the grandson of Francis Preston Blair who was the first Blair to reside there, created this space in 1920 by demolishing partitions between two bedrooms on the second floor of the original Blair House. The walls and tops of the bookcases display images of the Blair Family. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and it is where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. This room is a favorite of many of the guests who stay at Blair House. Queen Elizabeth II chose to have her breakfast in this room over the other dining rooms in the house and President and Mrs. Clinton read newspapers, magazines, and history books while their daughter Chelsea did homework in this room.
  • Table Settings for a Fish Course, Blair House
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    place setting
    This photograph of the dining room table at Blair House was taken by Bruce White on January 8, 2016. The table is set for a fish course and is arranged as it would have been for a family dinner ca. 1900. The table setting includes a Limoges porcelain service, crystal stemware with etched grapevine pattern and “B” monogram, and silver pieces. Blair House, located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the President's Guest House, where visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay while on official state visits. Blair House also historically serves as residence for the president-elect and first family prior to being sworn into office.
  • Rear Drawing Room, Blair House 
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This is a photograph of the Rear Drawing Room in Blair House taken by Durston Saylor on April 11, 2016. The Rear Drawing Room opens out into the garden and is commonly used for various receptions and pre and post dinner concerts. The room's focal point is the imposing portrait of Daniel Webster by G. P. A. Healy, also known as George P. A. Healy. It is flanked by seventeenth-century Coromandel wood screens and sits above a marble mantelpiece from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The room is also decorated with English mid-Georgian armchairs with custom made tapestry upholstery selected by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Blair House, located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the President's Guest House, where visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay while on official state visits. Blair House also historically serves as residence for the president-elect and first family prior to being sworn into office.
  • Jackson Place Dining Room
    Durston Saylor
    Jackson Place
    Blair House
    This photograph is of the Jackson Place Sitting Room and Dining Room. Jackson Place is part of the President's Guest House complex, which includes Blair House. The two Jackson Place buildings, 700 and 704 Jackson Place, were built in 1860 just north of the White House Grounds. The Sitting Room, in the background, looks out onto Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House Grounds beyond. Both rooms feature a mural of Washington, D.C. painted by Robert Jackson that is reminiscent of the popular French panoramic wallpaper of the early republic. Early republic inspiration is also evident in the furniture, largely inspired by Georgetown cabinetmaker William King.
  • Lincoln Room, Blair House 
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This photograph of the Lincoln Room was taken by Durston Saylor on February 10, 2016. The room used to be Judge Francis Preston Blair's home office where he regularly met with friends, business associates, and President Andrew Jackson. Blair House, located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the President's Guest House, where visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay while on official state visits. Today the room is a small parlor used by U.S. officials waiting to meet with a visiting leader. The decorations hearken back to the early days with period engravings of historic events and famous guests of the house. One of the most prominent items is a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln by Edward Dalton Merchant, which hangs over the mantel.
  • Rear Drawing Room of 700 Jackson Place
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    Jackson Place
    This photograph is of the Rear Drawing Room of the Conference Room in the 700 Jackson Place building, one of four buildings that constitute the President's Guest House. The two Jackson Place buildings, 700 and 704 Jackson Place, were built in 1860 just north of the White House Grounds. The Conference Room was created from the original parlor and drawing room of 700 Jackson Place and is decorated in the rich colors and style of the era in which it was built. The room is often used as an official meeting room, a dining room, and has been the location of historical international signings and agreements in the past.
  • Entrance Hall, Blair House
    Durston Saylor
    Blair House
    This is a photograph of the Entrance Hall of Blair House taken by Durston Saylor on April 15, 2016. Entrance Hall is very similar to the way the Blair family left it in 1942 when they leased house to the federal government. The room is decorated with portraits of notable figures such as the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first surgeon general. It also features a Chippendale mirror and a tall case clock dated ca. 1795. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
  • Truman Study in Lee House
    Durston Saylor
    Lee House
    Blair House
    This photograph is of the Truman Study in Lee House, one of four buildings that constitute the President's Guest House. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just across the street from the North Grounds of the White House, Lee House was built in 1859 by Francis Preston Blair for his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee. Blair built the house next door to his residence, the more prominent and recognizable Blair House. President Harry S. Truman used this room as a home office and study while the Truman family resided in Blair House during the 1948-1952 White House renovation.
  • Garden, Blair House
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    This photograph by Bruce White shows the main courtyard garden at Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
  • Garden, Blair House
    Bruce White
    Blair House
    This photograph by Bruce White shows the main courtyard garden at Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
  • Lee House Drawing Room
    Durston Saylor
    Lee House
    Blair House
    This photograph is of the Drawing Room in Lee House, one of four buildings that constitute the President's Guest House. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just across the street from the North Grounds of the White House, Lee House was built in 1859 by Francis Preston Blair for his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee. Blair built the house next door to his residence, the more prominent and recognizable Blair House. The Drawing Room was constructed when President Harry S. Truman, residing in Blair House during his renovation of the White House, joined the two parlors of Blair House and Lee House. The long Drawing Room stretches the depth of the house and is used for large gatherings. The room features rare, 18th century hand-painted Chinese wallpaper and antique furniture, such as the Chippendale-style sofa in this photograph, along side modern reproductions in the English Chippendale and Hepplewhite styles.
  • Lee House Drawing Room
    Durston Saylor
    Lee House
    Blair House
    This photograph is of the Drawing Room in Lee House, one of four buildings that constitute the President's Guest House. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just across the street from the North Grounds of the White House, Lee House was built in 1859 by Francis Preston Blair for his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee. Blair built the house next door to his residence, the more prominent and recognizable Blair House. The Drawing Room was constructed when President Harry S. Truman, residing in Blair House during his renovation of the White House, joined the two parlors of Blair House and Lee House. The long Drawing Room stretches the depth of the house and is used for large gatherings. The distinct, rare, Chinese wallpaper was hand painted in China before being sold around 1760 to an English patron.
  • Lee House Dining Room
    Durston Saylor
    Lee House
    Blair House
    This photograph is of the Dining Room in Lee House, one of four buildings that constitute the President's Guest House. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just across the street from the North Grounds of the White House, Lee House was built in 1859 by Francis Preston Blair for his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee. Blair built the house next door to his residence, the more prominent and recognizable Blair House. The Dining Room is located in the rear of the house and is the most formal dining room in the four building Guest House, with striking views of the back garden, a neo-Georgian interior design, and 18th century furniture. During President Harry S. Truman's residency in Blair House, he often held meetings in this room and the wives of President John F. Kennedy's cabinet are credited with the needlepoint on the seats of the dining room chairs.