Monday, March 7, 2016

Blair House Plays Host To American History

Washington is home to many buildings that are both iconic and secretive at the same time. Blair House, known more casually as the president’s guest house, is no different.

Built in 1824, Blair House consists of four interconnected townhouses located on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House. The federal-style complex has hosted a variety of heads of state and visiting delegations, but it was originally home to Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first surgeon general of the U.S. Army. It got its name, however, shortly after a circuit court clerk-turned-newspaperman took up residence there in 1837, seven years after Francis Preston Blair first moved to D.C. at the invitation of President Andrew Jackson. Blair’s editorials in a local Frankfort, Ky., newspaper appealed to Jackson, who asked Blair and his wife Eliza to turn a faltering D.C. paper called the Globe into a pro-Jackson administration publication.