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Blair House

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1824, unknown. 1651 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Blair House's unusually wide Federal style facade serves as the ceremonial front and entrance to five houses that now comprise the official guest house of the president. Built in 1824 by Dr. Joseph Lovell, the house's most important early historical associations occurred during its occupancy by Montgomery Blair, Abraham Lincoln's postmaster general. Both the facade and interiors have been repeatedly rebuilt or restored in the twentieth century. Many of its interiors were acquired from demolished or denuded Federal period houses from other parts of the country. Some rooms are composed of elements from many different buildings, only a few of which are known. In the 1920s Maj. Gist Blair had the carved wood trim from Alexander Parris's 1801 Joseph Holt Ingraham House in Portland, Maine, installed in the thendining room and the small room to the right of the front entry.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Blair House", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 164-164.

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