March 8th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Blair House is named after longtime resident, Francis Preston Blair, a journalist from Kentucky who became a politically influential newspaper publisher in Washington.
Four interconnected townhouses make up the Blair House today. The complex is larger than the White House, with 119 rooms and a total area of 70,000 square feet.
All of this historical info came from the Blair House Restoration Fund, but there's more after the jump!
The original house was built in 1824. Blair acquired it in 1836 and his family moved in the following year. In 1859, Blair built the house next door that would later be called the Lee House, named after his daughter and her husband who lived there.
President Harry Truman lived at Blair House from 1948-1952 while the White House underwent a major renovation. He used the original house at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue as his residence, and Lee House next door, as his office. The restoration fund said it was Truman's idea to open interior walls and connect the buildings.
Blair House now serves as the president's the official guest house, used for visiting heads of state.
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