The Queen Anne style home offers privacy and a break from the hustle and bustle of Washington that the White House doesn’t have. It’s “all well and good, but you kind of live above the shop,” said Dufour.
The seven Vice Presidents who lived at Number One Observatory Circle before Ms. Harris appreciated the expansive grounds and the ability to make the house their own. When the Bidens lived there, they painted the dining room the same shade of blue as their Delaware home and hung items on loan from the National Gallery of Art.
It has also become a tradition for any new tenant to lead improvements to the 128 year old home. For example, the Cheneys remodeled the kitchenette. The Pences added a beehive. (On Tuesday, an official from Ms. Harris’ office said the bees would remain “absolutely”.) And the Bidens added a small garden with the names of previous residents and their pets engraved in stones around a fountain.
“Each person added something to make the home better for the next family,” Jill Biden told the Washington Post as the Bidens, then vice president and second lady, prepared to leave the 2017 residence. Most of the residents hired a designer to help. but Mrs. Harris and Mr. Emhoff have not yet done this.
On Tuesday, an officer in Ms. Harris’ office said the Vice President and Mr. Emhoff would “discuss long-term projects,” the elements of California where she served as attorney general and senator, and her cultural heritage as the first black woman to do the held the job.
Ms. Harris’s predecessors often hosted personal or formal events at home, and have often interacted with people in the neighborhood struggling with the daily clogging of the column of cars and the noise of the Marine Two flying overhead.
“You need to be aware when you are hosting an event,” said Mr Dufour. “The people in the neighborhood feel a lot of traffic.”