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October 1, 2014

D.C. Real Estate Blog Waxes About Obama’s First Apartment

As President Barack Obama prepares to be sworn in for four more years at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, local real estate blog Urban Turf DC takes a look at his first District residence — a one-bedroom unit inside a Stanton Park apartment building.

In a chat with the Johnsie Walsh, the landlord who leased Obama the “plain jane” apartment at 227 Sixth St. NE, the president is described as a very good tenant who tastefully decorated his small quarters. A sleigh bed occupied the single bedroom, and the tiny kitchen contained a half-size stove.

Obama described the vibe during a November 2008 interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes”: “It had kind of the vintage college dorm … pizza, empty beer bottle feel to it.” (Questions about the apartment start at about the 4:40 mark.)

The president said he used to get teased by his staffers saying, “You’re the only senator who has a worst apartment than your 25-year-old staff people.”

Obama began leasing the apartment in 2005 and stayed there until 2008, when the presidential race started to heat up and the Secret Service decided it would be easier to protect Obama if he stayed in a hotel. The apartment has since been passed on to Obama staffers.

Walsh, who lives in California, never met Obama in person. She did hold on to a copy of his $1,200 rent check, dated May 2008 and signed by Michelle Obama.

The first lady was not a fan of the modest digs. During the same “60 Minutes” interview, she told host Steve Kroft, “I visited, but I didn’t sleep there.”

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