Homes of former presidents
At the pinnacle of their careers, U.S. presidents call a sandstone neoclassic estate home. But before and after their stints in the White House, presidents have called a variety of architecture home, from colonials and California ranches to log cabins and traditional brick homes.
As the 2012 presidential election nears its final weeks, we’re taking a real estate tour of some of the former presidents’ domains.
We don’t have the first president’s childhood home — the one where he chopped down a cherry tree — but we do have the home where George Washington reportedly slept. It is believed that the first commander-in-chief hung up his wig at this 1740 homestead, named the “Fowler House.” If you believe the historic marker on the home, he often stayed here on his way from West Point to Connecticut. The New York home is 5,500 square feet and has 5 bedrooms and 2 baths and was recently listed on the Brewster real estate market for $475,000.
James Madison, America’s fourth president, called a brick townhouse in Philadelphia’s historic Society Hill area home. The home is still privately owned; the only sign of the Founding Father’s presence is a small plaque on the outside.
The home was actually sold just in 2007 for $1.925 million. According to the property record, the home measures 2,898 square feet.
Named “Springfield,” this farmhouse estate was the childhood home of President Zachary Taylor. Taylor was born on the property in a log cabin; at the time his father was constructing the main home.
When Taylor died, he was buried on Springfield’s 400 acres. The property today has been split several times, with the most recent split down to a three-quarters of an acre in 1956. The home has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
At the end of Grover Cleveland’s second term in office as the 24th U.S. president, he purchased this Georgian-style mansion in Princeton, NJ that he would call “Westland.” He lived there until his death in 1908.
The home is still a private residence, and was last purchased in 2002 for $3.15 million.
The 38th president hailed from the Midwest, but Gerald Ford and wife Betty Ford moved to Rancho Mirage after Ford lost the 1976 presidential election to Jimmy Carter. Their mid-century classic was designed by Welton Becket in 1977.
For 33 years, the former president and first lady swam in the inviting backyard pool and played golf. Located on the Thunderbird Country Club golf course, the 6,316-square-foot ranch home features 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and his-and-hers offices. The home sold in March 2012 to new owners for $1.57 million.
The 40th president was a film star before he entered the political stage and for most of his life, Los Angeles served as his home base. One of Ronald Reagan’s first residences in the area was a custom-built Hollywood Hills home that he lived in with his first wife, actress Jane Wyman.
The home recently sold for $8.5 million, $2 million less than its original asking price. The 5-bed, 7-bath home sits on a knoll above the Sunset Strip and has views of the skyline and Pacific Ocean beyond.
Did we miss one of your favorite presidents? Check out a bigger list of presidents’ homes here.
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- Homes of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama
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