Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the often overlooked but stunning vice president's residence where the Pences live

Mike Karen PenceAlex Brandon/AP Images

Almost everyone knows the White House, but few people know that the vice president has an official residence of his own.

Vice President Mike Pence and his family currently live at Number One Observatory Circle, located on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

The private complex has been the official residence of the vice president since 1974. Walter Mondale was the first VP to move into the house.

Here's a look inside the historic residence:

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The private residence at Number One Observatory Circle was built in 1893. It's just 2.5 miles from the White House, but feels worlds away.

The private residence at Number One Observatory Circle was built in 1893. It's just 2.5 miles from the White House, but feels worlds away.

It is located on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory, where scientists study the sun, moon, and stars for navigational purposes.

It is located on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory, where scientists study the sun, moon, and stars for navigational purposes.

For 30 years, it served as the home of the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory. Then in 1923, it became the official residence for the head of the Navy.

For 30 years, it served as the home of the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory. Then in 1923, it became the official residence for the head of the Navy.

Source: The White House

In 1974, Congress designated the house as the home of the vice president.

In 1974, Congress designated the house as the home of the vice president.

But the first vice president didn't move in until three years later, when Walter Mondale was elected second-in-command under President Jimmy Carter.

But the first vice president didn't move in until three years later, when Walter Mondale was elected second-in-command under President Jimmy Carter.

The ground floor has a reception hall, living room, sitting room, dining room, garden room, lounges, pantry kitchen, and veranda.

The ground floor has a reception hall, living room, sitting room, dining room, garden room, lounges, pantry kitchen, and veranda.

Source: The White House Museum

On the second floor is the master suite, another bedroom, a study, and a den. The attic used to be servants' quarters, but now has four bedrooms for children. The main kitchen is in the basement.

On the second floor is the master suite, another bedroom, a study, and a den. The attic used to be servants' quarters, but now has four bedrooms for children. The main kitchen is in the basement.

Source: The Washington Post

Every vice president has lived there since Mondale, bringing their own unique touch to the home's 9,150 square feet.

Every vice president has lived there since Mondale, bringing their own unique touch to the home's 9,150 square feet.

"It really changed from one administration to another," Charles Denyer, an historian and author of a new book about the residence, told USA Today in November.

"It really changed from one administration to another," Charles Denyer, an historian and author of a new book about the residence, told USA Today in November.

Source: USA Today

George H.W. Bush installed a horseshoe pit on the grounds when he was vice president.

George H.W. Bush installed a horseshoe pit on the grounds when he was vice president.

Source: USA Today

When Dick Cheney and his family moved in, they decorated the home using a neutral color scheme of of creams and greens.

When Dick Cheney and his family moved in, they decorated the home using a neutral color scheme of of creams and greens.

Source: The Washington Post

People can donate to the Vice President's Residence Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1991, to help pay for decorating expenses.

People can donate to the Vice President's Residence Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1991, to help pay for decorating expenses.

Source: The Center for Public Integrity

When Al Gore's family lived there, lacrosse sticks and drumsticks were reportedly always lying around.

When Al Gore's family lived there, lacrosse sticks and drumsticks were reportedly always lying around.

Source: USA Today

The house features Queen Anne-style architecture, and a gorgeous porch that wraps around the front corner.

The house features Queen Anne-style architecture, and a gorgeous porch that wraps around the front corner.

Dan Quayle added a swimming pool and exercise room during his tenure. In 2010, Joe Biden told reporters that Quayle was his "favorite vice president" because he helped build the pool.

Dan Quayle added a swimming pool and exercise room during his tenure. In 2010, Joe Biden told reporters that Quayle was his "favorite vice president" because he helped build the pool.

Source: USA Today

Jill Biden, Joe's wife, was also grateful. "Each person has added something to make the home better for the next family," she told The Washington Post.

Jill Biden, Joe's wife, was also grateful. "Each person has added something to make the home better for the next family," she told The Washington Post.

Source: The Washington Post

She was also especially fond of the "serenity" of the place. "When times get tough, and there were some pretty tough times for the Bidens, you could sit outside and reflect. It was very healing," she said.

She was also especially fond of the "serenity" of the place. "When times get tough, and there were some pretty tough times for the Bidens, you could sit outside and reflect. It was very healing," she said.

Numerous leaders and dignitaries have been to the residence over the years. In 2015, Biden hosted Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Numerous leaders and dignitaries have been to the residence over the years. In 2015, Biden hosted Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

When the Pences moved in, Jill Biden told them that the Observatory is nothing like Washington, where she said life is truly hectic each and every day.

When the Pences moved in, Jill Biden told them that the Observatory is nothing like Washington, where she said life is truly hectic each and every day.

But the Pences have made the Observatory their home. After moving in, they posed for Inauguration Day photos on the front porch.

But the Pences have made the Observatory their home. After moving in, they posed for Inauguration Day photos on the front porch.

They took their most recent official Christmas portrait from what looks like the sitting room. Just like the White House, the Observatory was all decked out for the holidays.

They took their most recent official Christmas portrait from what looks like the sitting room. Just like the White House, the Observatory was all decked out for the holidays.

The house can be quite magical during the winter, especially when it snows.

The house can be quite magical during the winter, especially when it snows.

Second Lady Karen Pence, a former art teacher, often paints at the living room table. Two of her paintings are on display at the house.

Second Lady Karen Pence, a former art teacher, often paints at the living room table. Two of her paintings are on display at the house.

Since declaring art therapy as her official cause as Second Lady, she has hosted events for US soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Since declaring art therapy as her official cause as Second Lady, she has hosted events for US soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Sources: The New York Times, Washington Life Magazine

Just like their predecessors, the Pences have hosted a broad range of guests, including politicians and world leaders.

Just like their predecessors, the Pences have hosted a broad range of guests, including politicians and world leaders.

In June, US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue joined Karen Pence to unveil the addition of bee hives to the grounds.

In June, US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue joined Karen Pence to unveil the addition of bee hives to the grounds.

Karen also met with Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, in the garden room in October.

Karen also met with Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, in the garden room in October.

The Pences made use of the spacious patio by the pool in the summer.

The Pences made use of the spacious patio by the pool in the summer.

But the public rarely gets the chance to see the property for themselves. There are no public tours and the house is hidden from the street. "If you don't know about it, it's not there," historian Denyer said.

But the public rarely gets the chance to see the property for themselves. There are no public tours and the house is hidden from the street. "If you don't know about it, it's not there," historian Denyer said.

Source: USA Today

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