The Blair House was built in 1824 for Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Lowell, and sold in 1837 to real estate mogul, Francis Preston Blair and inherited by Montgomery Blair. The adjacent house was owned by the Robert E. Lee family. The U.S. government bought the Blair House in 1942, and has since used it as the official guest house for state visitors, at the insistence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who was tired of running into Winston Churchill and other visitors roaming around the White House in the middle of the night. Today, the Blair house not only consists of the original townhouse, but includes the Lee House and two other adjacent townhouses. The total space of 70,000 sq ft exceeds that of the White House.
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