President Trump’s gilded penthouse has received plenty of media attention throughout his campaign, and even now - as the First Lady continues to live there with their son. Trump Tower and his golden flat at its top have long been the subject of polarizing editorial commentary.
We think this is a great chance to give the presidential homes of the past their due, lest they be forgotten in the face of so much gold-covered interior. Here's our take on Presidential Homes from Washington to #45:
#1 George Washington - Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia was President George Washington’s home. President Washington’s home was built in a loosely Palladian style, and if the main door looks off-center to you, you’re right - the home was constructed in phases starting in 1758 and the unplanned development led to several architectural goofs, as well as inconsistent internal architectural features.
#2 John Adams - Peacefield
President John Adams home, Peacefield (also known as Old House), is part of the Adams National Historic Park. When President Adams and his wife Abigail Adams moved into the house, it only consisted of two rooms on the ground floor, two bedrooms, and an attic. Abigail Adams saw to its expansion over the next 12 years while John Adams was living in Philadelphia (first serving as Vice President and then President).
#3 Thomas Jefferson - Monticello
President Thomas Jefferson started designing Monticello at the tender age of 26, and modeled it on the principles of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Fun facts: Monticello is the building on the nickel, and there are replicas of Monticello in Somers, Connecticut as well as Chickasha, Oklahoma.
#4 James Madison - Montpelier
President James Madison’s home in Orange, Virginia was a plantation house consisting of 22 rooms. In the past decade, important archaeological work has taken place at Montpelier, revealing information about the slaves who lived and worked there. In fact, the estate is opening a new exhibition on slavery this June 17.
#5 James Monroe - Ash Lawn-Highland
Charlottesville, Virginia and Oak Hill Leesburg, Virginia
Ash Lawn-Highland was the official residence of President James Monroe and his wife Elizabeth Monroe from 1799 to 1823. Interestingly, Monroe’s home was located adjacent to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. When Monroe wasn’t at Ash Lawn-Highland, he was usually at his home in Oak Hill (which was his only residence for a few years after he was forced to sell Ash Lawn-Highland to pay off debt).
Note: the yellow wing in the photograph above was added by later owners.
#6 John Quincy Adams - Peacefield
Peacefield (sound familiar?) was also the home of President John Quincy Adams, his wife Louisa Catherine Adams, and their son Charles Francis Adams. In 1870 (well after John Quincy Adams’ residency) a Gothic Revival Stone Library was built on the property, which houses John Quincy Adams’ book collection (all 14,000 volumes!).
#7 Andrew Jackson - The Hermitage
President Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville, Tennessee, was not always the stately structure that you see above. From 1804 to 1821, Jackson and his wife lived in a log cabin on the property. This was followed by a Federal-style brick building (built between 1819 and 1821) and the current Greek Revival structure (built in 1834 following extensive damage to the home from a chimney fire).
#8 Martin Van Buren - Lindenwald
Kinderhook, New York
The name of President Martin Van Buren’s estate, Lindenwald, comes from the German for “linden forest” and refers to the American Linden trees lining the road in front of the house. Van Buren ran two unsuccessful presidential campaigns from Lindenwald as part of two different parties in 1844 and 1848.
#9 William Henry Harrison - Berkeley Plantation
Charles City County, Virginia and Grouseland Vincennes, Indiana
Grouseland was built for President William Henry Harrison during his term as Governor of Indiana. At the time of its construction, Vincennes had no roads and only 700 residents, but was built in grand Federal Style and decorated with expensive items from Europe (helping Harrison establish respect despite being only 29 when starting his service as governor!).
#10 John Tyler - Sherwood Forest Plantation
Charles City County, Virginia
President John Tyler’s home, Sherwood Forest Plantation, was once owned by William Henry Harrison (Tyler’s presidential predecessor!) It’s the only home on this list to have been owned by two unrelated presidents, and is famous for its length - over 300 feet long.
#11 James K. Polk - James K. Polk Ancestral Home
Columbia, Tennessee / President James K. Polk Historic Site Pineville, North Carolina
President James K. Polk’s ancestral home was built by his father, Samuel Polk, and is the only surviving Polk residence (other than the White House). Polk Place, President Polk’s other home, was demolished in 1900 and has since had several different structures on it.
#12 Zachary Taylor - Springfield Plantation
President Zachary Taylor lived at Springfield Plantation between 1790 and 1810, and returned there periodically throughout his life (including for the births of five out of his six children). The home is a Georgia Colonial brick home that was constructed by President Taylor’s father.
#13 Millard Fillmore - Fillmore House
East Aurora, New York
President Millard Fillmore built this house in East Aurora, New York for his bride Abigail in 1826, but they only actually lived in it for four years. In the 1930's, Margaret Evans Price (of Fisher-Price Toys) bought the house and moved it away from its original location and to its current spot.
#14 Franklin Pierce - Franklin Pierce Homestead
Hillsborough, New Hampshire and Pierce Manse Concord, New Hampshire
The Franklin Pierce Manse (picture above) is not to be confused with the Franklin Pierce Homestead (where President Pierce was born) or the Franklin Pierce Mansion (where President Pierce died) - this presidential home sits in the middle. The “Manse” name was inspired by the Salem, Massachusetts home of Pierce’s longtime friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, named the Old Manse.
#15 James Buchanan - Wheatland
President James Buchanan conducted his 1856 presidential campaign from his home at Wheatland as a “front porch campaign”, including featuring printed lithographs of Wheatland that were circulated in the South to assure southerners of Buchanan’s “plantation estate” and lifestyle compatible with their own (Klein, Philip Shriver (January 1936). The Story of Wheatland. Lancaster: Junior League of Lancaster, p. 29).
#16 Abraham Lincoln - Lincoln Home
President Abraham Lincoln’s house in Springfield, Illinois is the only home that Lincoln ever owned. The house reflects a combination of Abraham Lincoln’s simple frontier-influenced tastes and his wife Mary Todd’s wealthy background and enthusiasm for French fashions - furniture was chosen for sturdiness and functionality, but the home also had notable artisan items imported from Europe.
#17 Andrew Johnson - Andrew Johnson Home
Andrew Johnson became President after Abraham Lincoln’s death. The historic site on which his home stands also includes his tailor shop and his grave site, which is part of the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery.
#18 Ulysses S. Grant - Ulysses S. Grant Home
Galena, Illinois and Grant’s Farm St. Louis, Missouri
The Ulysses S. Grant Home was given to President Grant by residents of Galena, Illinois as thanks for his service in the Civil War in 1865. It’s an Italianate style brick building, and features a statue of First Lady Julia Grant, which was placed on the grounds in 2006.
#19 Rutherford B. Hayes - Spiegel Grove
President Rutherford B. Hayes’ home, Spiegel Grove, was named after the puddles of rainwater that collect beneath the trees on the estate following a storm (“spiegel” is the German word for mirror...more on spiegel here). The building is a large two-story brick mansion and in its final form has over 30 rooms.
#20 James A. Garfield - Lawnfield
President James A. Garfield’s home, dubbed “Lawnfield” by reporters, is the site of the first ever presidential library. The house underwent a massive restoration in the 1990's to restore it to period decor and includes many original Victorian furniture items owned by the Garfields.
#21 Chester A. Arthur - Chester A. Arthur Home
New York, New York
President Chester A. Arthur’s New York City home is the only surviving building in New York City where a president was inaugurated. Chester Arthur took his presidential oath of office in the building after the assassination of President James Garfield. The building now houses Kalustyan’s, a famous spice store.
#22 & #24 Grover Cleveland - Westland Mansion
Princeton, New Jersey
Westland Mansion was not actually purchased by President Grover Cleveland until after his second term as president, in 1896. The mansion was named in honor of his friend Andrew Fleming West, a Princeton University professor who helped Cleveland secure the purchase of the home, and Cleveland lived in Westland Mansion until his death in 1908.
#23 Benjamin Harrison - Benjamin Harrison Home
President Benjamin Harrison had this home constructed in the 1870's, and Harrison’s decision to move his family to the north side of Indianapolis started a trend of other wealthy citizens moving there. President Harrison also showed a flair for home improvement - in 1896, he had the house renovated and added electricity.
#25 William McKinley - William McKinley Home
The Saxton-McKinley home in Canton, Ohio is the only remaining residence in Canton with direct historical ties to President William McKinley. The building now houses the National First Ladies Library and Museum, and regularly hosts exhibitions and events related to the First Ladies of the United States.
#26 Theodore Roosevelt - Sagamore Hill
Cove Neck, New York
Sagamore Hill is a shingle-style Queen Anne home that was originally built as a summer property for Theodore Roosevelt but eventually became the primary residence of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt.
#27 William Howard Taft - William Howard Taft National Historic Site
President William Howard Taft’s childhood home was built in the early 1840's and was purchased by Taft’s father, Alphonso Taft. Taft lived there until he attended Yale University in 1874, and the house left Taft family ownership in 1899.
#28 Woodrow Wilson - Woodrow Wilson House
Washington, D.C. and Woodrow WIlson Birthplace Staunton, Virginia
President Woodrow Wilson’s home in Washington, D.C. was bought by Wilson as a gift to his wife, Edith, during his second term as President. President Wilson’s last public appearance was during a speech given from a balcony of the house on November 11, 1923.
#29 Warren G. Harding - Warren G. Harding House
President Warren G. Harding and his wife lived in their Marion, Ohio home for 30 years before his election as president. A less prominent but interesting feature of the property: during his front porch presidential campaign, Harding paid for the construction of a $1,000 Sears Catalog Home on his property to give newspaper reporters a place to write up their stories.
#30 Calvin Coolidge - “The Beeches”
President Calvin Coolidge lived in this Massachusetts residence between 1906 and 1930, during which time his political career advanced from a position on city council all the way to President of the United States. The home is not considered to be of any particular architectural note.
#31 Herbert Hoover - Forest Hills
Washington, D.C. and West Branch, Iowa and Stanford, California
The Herbert Hoover House is located on the campus of Stanford University, and was designed by Hoover’s wife Lou Henry Hoover. The unusually shaped home combines elements of International style residences, North African Algerian homes that Mrs. Hoover had seen, and Mission Revival style architecture, and now serves as the home for Stanford University’s President.
#32 Franklin D. Roosevelt - Springwood
Hyde Park, New York
President Franklin D. Roosevelt grew up at his family’s estate, Springwood, and also spent most of his adult life living there. In 1915, Roosevelt and his mother Sara undertook a renovation of the home to enlarge it, which was in large part motivated to accommodate Roosevelt’s political ambitions and need for an environment to entertain associates. Roosevelt contributed many of the design ideas himself (with his mother tempering them to fit within the family’s budgetary constraints).
#33 Harry S. Truman - Truman Home
The Truman home in Independence, Missouri actually belonged to Truman’s wife’s grandparents, and has been preserved to show what the home was like at the time that the Truman's lived there. Interestingly, Truman is one of the only Presidents who did not own his own home prior to being elected.
#34 Dwight D. Eisenhower - Eisenhower Farm
President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife purchased their farm in part due to its proximity to the Gettysburg Battlefield, and used it as a weekend and summer getaway. The farm included a putting green, skeet range, and a cattle operation (which provided Eisenhower with plenty of meat for one of his favorite farm activities, barbecuing!)
#35 John F. Kennedy - Kennedy Compound
The famous Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts was once the home of Joseph P. Kennedy, his wife, and their two sons (including the future President John F. Kennedy). Joseph P. Kennedy purchased the summer cottage on the property in 1928 and began expanding and remodeling it for his growing family. John F. Kennedy eventually used the home as the base for his 1960 presidential campaign as well as a summer White House and presidential retreat.
#36 Lyndon B. Johnson - Johnson Ranch
The photograph above shows President Lyndon B. Johnson’s birthplace in Texas. However, this isn’t the original home - Johnson wanted to share his roots with interested visitors and had the home rebuilt based on old photographs and family members’ memories. This building is “the only birthplace reconstructed, refurbished, and interpreted by an incumbent President.”
#37 Richard M. Nixon - La Casa Pacifica
San Clemente, California
Source: Sothebys Realty
La Casa Pacifica, President Richard Nixon’s California home, was nicknamed “The Western Whitehouse” by the press and was modeled after a Spanish country home. The Nixons moved out in the 1980's and the home has remained a private residence since then. In April 2016, the mansion went on the market with an asking price of $69 million.
#38 Gerald R. Ford - Ford Home
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Source: Ford Library Museum
President Gerald R. Ford lived in several different homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the one pictured above is where he moved in 1948 following his marriage to Betty Bloomer. Ford was a Michigan man - he held the Grand Rapids Congressional seat from 1949 to 1973.
#39 Jimmy Carter - Carter Home
Source: US Post Cards
President Jimmy Carter’s Plains, Georgia home was the only house that the Carters owned, and their permanent residence. The home is currently kept up by the National Park Service in anticipation of the home eventually becoming part of the Carter National Historic Site.
#40 Ronald Reagan - Pacific Palisades Home
Pacific Palisades, California
Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s house in Pacific Palisades was their primary residence from 1957 until 1981, when Ronald Reagan was elected President. At the time of the home’s construction, President Reagan was working for General Electric and the company helped him design a custom home filled with state-of-the-art GE appliances. The ranch-style home was also one of the first celebrity homes in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, predating its current popularity with Hollywood A-listers.
#41 George H. W. Bush - Tanglewood
Houston, Texas and Walker’s Point, Kennebunkport, Maine
Pictured above is the Bush family compound on Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport, Maine. The summer home of President George H. W. Bush was built in the New England shingle style and has been a Bush family retreat for over a century.
#42 Bill Clinton - Clinton Home
Chappaqua, New York
Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York has been one of their primary residence since 1999. The Dutch Colonial home was built in 1889, and is only 35 miles away from New York City.
#43 George W. Bush - Prairie Chapel Ranch
Crawford, Texas and Preston Hollow Dallas, Texas
Source: Architectural Digest
President George W. Bush and his wife Laura built their Texas retreat home Prairie Chapel Ranch in 2001, working with architect David Heymann to build a one-story limestone structure that fit into the landscape seamlessly. Much like President Nixon’s California home, President Bush’s Texas vacation home was called “the Western White House” during his presidency.
#44 Barack Obama - Kenwood
Source: Chicago Tribune
President Barack Obama’s family home is in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago, and is a Georgian brick mansion. Although Obama’s presidency has ended, the Obama family will likely stay in DC for the next couple of years while their daughter Sasha finishes high school, so it is unclear when the former first family will occupy the home again.
#45 Donald Trump - Trump Tower Penthouse
New York, New York
Photograph by Sam Horine
Last, but never doing the least, is President Trump and his $100 million penthouse in Trump Tower, which is still being occupied by the First Lady and their son. The three-story penthouse is decorated with 24-karat gold and marble and emulates the style of Louis XIV, who also had lavish tastes.