It has been a few months since I last did a post related to protocol and diplomacy. With my most recent visit to Blair House fresh in my mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to write about, and encourage those of you that are interested in preservation, to make a donation toward Blair House’s continued maintenance and restoration.
Situated across the street from the White House, Blair House is not just any house – it is a living part of U.S. historythat was built in 1824 and was purchased from the U.S. Government in 1942. In addition to serving as the President’s Guest House for visiting foreign dignitaries, it is also utilized as a location for various events that help advance the United States’ relationship with other nations. A typical schedule for Blair House in a calendar year may include up to 30 visits by foreign leaders, multiple foreign policy–related luncheons, dinners, receptions and teas, and countless official meetings, all of which underscore the unique diplomatic role of the President’s Guest House.
It has also been the location for countless historical events, to include the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (In 1842, then Secretary of State Daniel Webster, my great great Uncle, met with British Foreign Minister Alexander Baring, to finalize a treaty that clearly defined the borders between Maine and New Brunswick, as well as the Great Lakes area. Additional matters addressed in the treaty concerned matters of extradition between the two nations and agreement on the part of the United States to strengthen its policing of the illegal slave trade.)
Founded in 1985, the Blair House Restoration Fund is a charitable, tax-exempt, non-partisan organization committed to raising private funds from across the nation to create and maintain the beautiful rooms, gardens, and amenities of Blair House.
Government funding supports the staffing and structural needs of Blair House, but it is the Fund’s responsibility to preserve and refresh the furnishings, décor, fine arts, and gardens. Through the generosity of American individuals, foundations, and corporations, the Fund is able to ensure Blair House remains a beautiful and welcoming home away from home for world leaders.