Five Ways to Live in a Piece of Presidential History
If this year's presidential election leaves you feeling nostalgic for a better (read: less demoralizing) time in national politics, you have a few options. You can crack open a book, buy some presidential memorabilia, or, for a real deep-dive, acquire a piece of real estate steeped in U.S. political history.
The following are buildings with serious credentials: Founding fathers strolled on their grounds, and presidential hopefuls developed strategy (at least, nurtured dreams of greatness) among these residences' walls.
A $7 Million Manor House on Charles Carroll's Land
Charles Carroll was an immensely wealthy, slave-owning Maryland landholder who managed to distinguish himself by signing the Declaration of Independence. Carroll went on to become a U.S. Senator and to draft the Maryland state constitution, but he's probably best remembered as the longest-living founding father.
This 8,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house was built on his land much later—in the 1930s—and includes horse barns, a pool, tennis court, and a guest cottage. It sits on 54 manicured acres just a half-hour drive from the center of Baltimore.
The $45 Million Residence of Bermuda's U.S. Consul General
"Perhaps," you think—as you look at the white stuccoed 10,000-square-foot main house, rolling lawns, crystalline pool, and elegant beach pavilion—"this house does not seem particularly presidential."
You would be wrong, because this 14-acre estate—originally built in 1941 for someone who had the real (not at all made-up) name Carbon Petroleum Dubbs—was donated to the U.S. in 1964 as the official residence of Bermuda's U.S. Consul. Since then, presidential guests have included George H.W. Bush, along with such presidential hopefuls as John Kerry, Edward Kennedy, and Michael Dukakis. The home has a massive 15 bedrooms, 19 full baths, and measures more than 17,000-square feet. There are a pool, croquet lawn, and multiple gardens, all in a five-minute drive from the island's capital, Hamilton.
Benjamin Harrison II's $792,000 Colonial Estate
Was Benjamin Harrison II a president? No. Was he the great-great-grandfather of one, and the great-great-great-great grandfather of another? Yes, and the property passed through multiple generations of Harrisons (almost all involved in government, in some capacity), which means that this house comes with major political provenance.
Set on 111 acres in Spring Grove, Va., this 3,800-square-foot home, built in roughly 1750, has four bedrooms, one full bathroom, and two partial baths. It is undeniably an early colonial construction, with wood beams, a stone fireplace, and wide-plank flooring. It's also about a 30-minute drive from the Harrison family's other historic estate, the thousand-acre Berkeley Plantation.
Franklin Roosevelt's Law Offices, Now a $2.999 Million Apartment
While it's unclear exactly where President Franklin D. Roosevelt's office was in 55 Liberty St., one of New York's oldest skyscrapers (built in 1909), it is certain that his law offices were in the building. Which means, since condos replaced the commercial real estate in the 1980s, that there's a 1 in 89 (the number of condo units in the building) chance that you could be sleeping where FDR burned the midnight oil.
This 2,850-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath apartment is on the 25th floor, with views overlooking the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (For the uninitiated, that's where they keep all the gold.) Come home, relax in the apartment's corner living room, then start on your next, presidential, billable hour.
A $4.2 Million Home of Presidential Hopefuls
What do former U.S. Senator and Law & Order star Fred Thompson and former Utah governor and chemical manufacturing heir John Huntsman have in common? Each ran (briefly) for president in 2008, and both have lived in this 8,852-square-foot, seven-bedroom house in Mclean, Va.
While the house is officially designated as a "colonial," it was, in fact, built in the 1980s as an exact replica of Virginia's Governor's Mansion in nearby Williamsburg. It has six bedrooms and five baths and sits on a relatively modest .58 acre. Prospective owners can enjoy the house's Palladian proportions and if they so choose, plan their own failed bids for the Republican presidential primary.