Blair House, right across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, has been called “the world’s most exclusive hotel.”
The massive complex of four townhouses is used as a state guest house to host visiting dignitaries and other guests of the president.
“The property contains 119 rooms, including 14 guest bedrooms and 35 bathrooms, among other functional spaces. At 70,000 square feet, Blair House is larger than the White House,” the General Services Administration says on its webpage.
But it’s reportedly not Vice President Kamala Harris’ cup of tea.
While Harris took office on Jan. 20, she and her husband have not moved in to the vice president’s mansion because it is being renovated. CNN went so far as to say that the couple is “living out of suitcases.”
“Harris — along with her husband, Georgetown Law professor Douglas Emhoff — is still, ostensibly, living out of suitcases, unable to move into the private residence reserved for the vice president because it’s still undergoing renovations,” CNN reported.
“It’s a situation that has left Harris increasingly and understandably bothered, according to several people who spoke to CNN about her situation. ‘She is getting frustrated,’ said another administration official, noting with each passing day the desire to move in to her designated house — a stately, turreted mansion two-and-a-half miles from the White House — grows more intense,” said CNN.
The vice president’s mansion at Number One Observatory Circle, where the U.S. Naval Observatory is located, was built in 1893 and has been undergoing intensive foundational work. There is an ongoing $3.8 million contract for “plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors,” according to the contract on the United States government spending website,” CNN reported.
The renovations are taking longer than expected, but Harris might be partly to blame.
“Two administration staff with knowledge of the ongoing updates told CNN that Harris — who likes to cook — requested work be done on the kitchen, “CNN reported.
“If I’m cooking, I feel like I’m in control of my life,” Harris once told New York Magazine’s “The Cut.”
But Harris’ deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, took issue with the CNN report, saying in a statement Sunday that “there is no work being done on the kitchen at the Naval Observatory residence.”
For now, though, the Blair House oughta’ be just fine, but the Second Couple is still unhappy.
“Antiques and museum-quality pieces of American history deck each of the 100-plus rooms, which include a gym and a private hair salon,” CNN reported. “And although the professional, full-time staff of more than a dozen provide amenities as accommodating as a luxury hotel, Blair House does not offer the laid-back vibe Harris and Emhoff are said to prefer when they are home. The couple enjoy a more casual, West Coast informality, with frequent visits from family and large Sunday suppers, the former California senator has said.”
Recently, Harris has been sighted checking out the 9,000 square-foot vice president’s mansion, at one point stopping by for an hour-long visit three weeks ago, according to CNN.
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