Take a look inside these six presidential homes
Take a look inside these six presidential homes
While 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington may be the most notable presidential address, it isn't the only residence our presidents have occupied. Many of the homes and estates of U.S. presidents are open to the public today. They offer a glimpse into the lives of these men and their families when they stepped outside the public eye.
Here are six presidential homes that you can tour now.
Harry S. Truman Little White House, Key West, Florida
As soon as the first hint of a winter chill swept through the nation's capital, President Truman and key members of his staff would head south. They'd go to what has come to be known as the "Little White House." It is a short distance from a beach on Key West. Truman's winter retreat was built in 1890 as officers' quarters for the local naval base. In 1911, it was converted into a private residence. For a time, it served as a home for inventor Thomas Edison. He conducted experiments there during the First World War. From 1946 until 1952, Truman spent 175 days of his presidency at this southern getaway.
After his death in 1972, the home played host as a respite for a number of following presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. It also served as the site of the international peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2011.
Today visitors can explore the bleached-white home. It has nearly all of its original furnishings (including the famous "The Buck Stops Here" sign on Truman's desk). You also can stroll through the home's botanical gardens.
Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
This house is a mere stone's throw from the Gettysburg battlefield, where one of the most significant battles of the American Civil War unfolded. This house is former President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 189-acre farm and retreat. Eisenhower purchased the property in 1950 as a retirement home. But he and wife Mamie wouldn't stay in retirement for long. In 1953, the five-star general became the country's 34th president. The couple would only see their homestead on weekends and holidays. Eisenhower was fond of inviting fellow politicians and foreign dignitaries to the "Temporary White House." He liked to show off his herd of Angus cattle. He also liked to relax on the front porch.
A herd of cattle still grazes at the site. Visitors can walk along the farm lanes and trails.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln's home has been a popular spot for visitors. It opened to the public in 1887. That was 22 years after Lincoln's assassination. It was built in 1839. Lincoln purchased the 12-room Greek revival, located 200 miles south of Chicago, in 1844. The house was restored in 1860. For 17 years, it served as his home. He shared it with his wife, Mary Todd. They lived there until their move to Washington. Lincoln would serve as the country's 16th president.
Visitors flock to this property each year. They experience park ranger-led tours. These explore the couple's separate bedrooms, children's rooms, kitchen, formal parlor, sitting rooms and outbuildings.
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, St. Louis, Missouri
After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in 1843, the Army stationed Grant to the Jefferson Barracks. They are on the outskirts of St. Louis. There, he met Julia Dent. She was the sister of Frederick Dent. He was one of Grant's former roommates. The couple married in 1848. Over the next four decades, White Haven, the Dent family's homestead, would serve as the couple's on-again-off-again home. They lived there until his death in 1885.
Now, more than 130 years later, the main house, outbuildings and stables remain a popular draw. Tours of the property are available.
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, New York, New York
Living in New York City has been a rite of passage for many a U.S. president. But few can actually say they were born there. On Oct. 27, 1858, Roosevelt was born. He was raised at 28 E. 20th Street. It is in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood. In 1872, the family moved Uptown. Eventually, the original brownstone was demolished as the neighborhood transitioned from residential to commercial. However, in 1919 the Women's Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased the lot. The association built a replica of the former home. It has served as a national historic site since 1962. That is when the National Park Service took over management of the property. Today the home's rooms are decorated with period furnishings and family-owned possessions. Visitors will find ranger-guided tours available.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, Johnson City, Texas
An hour's drive west of Austin sits Johnson's famed ranch. The 36th president occupied it with his family as a boy, beginning in 1913. At the time, many residents living in this rural corner of Texas didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing in their homes. That later compelled Johnson to introduce programs designed to help fellow U.S. citizens who were living in similar circumstances. This includes his famous "war on poverty" legislation, which he discussed during his State of the Union Address in 1964.
Visitors can experience the 1,570-acre property in person, which includes Johnson's boyhood home, stockyards, farmhouse and the family gravesites for both LBJ and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.
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