More than a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt escaped the heat and humidity of Washington, D.C., by spending summers at Sagamore Hill, his sprawling home in Oyster Bay, on New York’s Long Island.
The two-story Queen Anne-style house, built between 1884 and 1904 and today an historic site, has 23 rooms and nearly 15,000 square feet, including a 30-by-40-foot great room, a library, a drawing room, a dining room, and seven bedrooms and a nursery — plenty of room for Teddy and his boisterous family (except for the single bathroom).
Roosevelt paid $16,975 for Sagamore Hill, a princely sum at the time. But today, a similar home in Oyster Bay without the historical connection would cost a little bit more: $3,195,000, by a recent estimate.
Researchers at Trulia, with an eye on the upcoming July Fourth holiday, sought to determine how much six well-known presidential homes would be worth if they hit the market today, minus the historical connections. They compared Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill and five other residences with like-size homes currently on the market.
The first presidential home, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, was built, and rebuilt, from 1734 to 1775. With 21 rooms and 11,000 square feet, it last traded hands in 1858, when Washington’s great-grandnephew sold it to the newly formed Mount Vernon Ladies Association for $200,000. Today’s price tag for a similar home in nearby upscale Virginia would be $4,949,000.
Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello, built from 1768 to 1808, is similar in size to Mount Vernon: 23 rooms and 11,000 square feet. Located in Charlottesville, Va., the home was insured for $6,300 in 1800. Today, it would fetch $5,950,000.
Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the fourth president, was built in 1760 with more than 12,000 square feet and 22 rooms. It was insured for $15,000 in 1813, and a similar home today in Montpelier, Va., would sell for $5,000,000.
Harry Truman’s home in Independence, Mo., is a bit smaller than those of the Founding Fathers: 8,800 square feet and 14 rooms. It was built from 1867 to 1885, and Truman bought after he left the White House, in 1953. His cost: $25,000. Today’s cost: $269,000.
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s home in Gettysburg, Pa., has 4,100 square feet and 24 rooms. Ike purchased the home new in 1950 for $40,000. Today it would sell for $618,000.
(Photo: Flickr/J. Stephen Conn)