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Ronald and Nancy Reagan relaxing at Sunnylands.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan relaxing at Sunnylands.
Official White House photos

17 Southern California buildings with presidential ties

Reagan, Nixon, Kennedy, and others all spent plenty of time in the LA area

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Ronald and Nancy Reagan relaxing at Sunnylands.
| Official White House photos

In 1880, Rutheford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to visit Los Angeles. Prominent residents and city officials celebrated the occasion with an eight-course feast. Since then, plenty of commanders in chief have stopped by the city, whether to court voters, meet with foreign dignitaries, or simply to hit the golf course. Here's a look at some Southern California landmarks that have hosted some of our nation's leaders.

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Richard Nixon's first law office

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Richard Nixon's first law office in Whittier, in the old National Bank of Whittier Building, is now an AT&T "stealth cell site." Makes sense. The building was designed by John and Donald B. Parkinson and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ronald Reagan's SAG office

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This apartment complex in Hollywood once housed Ronald Reagan's office when he was serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the late '40s and early '50s. Back then the building was called the Hollywood Professional Building.
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Ronald Reagan's first LA home

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Nearby are the Montecito Apartments—Ronald Reagan's first home in LA. Ben Vereen, Montgomery Clift, James Cagney, and Don Johnson have also lived in the building.

La Casa Pacifica

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This estate in San Clemente served as Richard Nixon's Western White House when he was in office and his private residence after he resigned his office. The property helped put San Clemente on the map.

Rancho del Cielo

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Ronald Reagan also had a Western White House: this ranch north of Santa Barbara that the 40th president also used as a vacation home from the 1970s through the 1990s. Nancy Reagan sold the estate to a conservative group in the late 1990s.

Century Plaza Hotel/St. Regis

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The hotel was a frequent haunt of Reagan's, starting in 1984, when he was the first official guest to stay in its tower portion (now the St. Regis). The hotel's penthouse suite is dedicated to Reagan and his wife, Nancy.

Gerald Ford's post-White House home

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Gerald and Betty Ford commissioned this Rancho Mirage golf course house from architect Welton Becket in the late 1970s. It comes with lots of Secret Service-friendly security amenities and sold in 2012 for $1.675 million.
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Mauretania Apartments

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Then-Senator John F. Kennedy rented the penthouse of this streamline moderne building in Hancock Park back in 1960 for the Democratic National Convention (at which he was nominated). He's said to have hosted Marilyn Monroe at the apartment.
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Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools

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The LAUSD schools built on the former site of the Ambassador Hotel are named for Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated at the hotel in 1968 just after winning the California presidential primary. Interestingly, the school district beat out a group led by current president Donald Trump for the right to develop the site. Trump hoped to build a massive skyscraper on the property, but was foiled when LAUSD obtained the land through eminent domain.
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Sunnylands

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Walter and Leonore Annenberg's Rancho Mirage estate has hosted them all: seven U.S. presidents in total (in 1986, Ronald Reagan made a televised New Year's greeting to Mikhail Gorbachev from the house). The A. Quincy Jones-designed main house and a new visitors' center have now been opened to the public; the operators call it a West Coast Camp David.
The atrium of the historic house. The sculpture in the center of the atrium is an original casting of Eve, by Auguste Rodin, 1881. Photo by Graydon Wood

Ronald and Nancy Reagan's pre-presidency home

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Ronald and Nancy's swanky midcentury residence in Pacific Palisades sold in 2013 for a little over $5 million before returning to the market earlier this year as a $33 million megamansion. Home to the Reagans from 1957 to 1981, it's where the Gipper famously received word of his election while in the shower.

Obama's dorm

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President Obama spent his first two college years at Occidental, where, as a first-year student, he lived in a triple in the Haines Hall annex. According to the college, it was at Occidental that the future president first developed an interest in politics.

USS Iowa (BB-61)

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It's not a building, but it does have a bathtub installed for FDR. Nicknamed the Battleship of Presidents (and also the somewhat less prestigious-sounding "Big Stick"), the vessel—now permanently moored off of San Pedro—has hosted Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in addition to Roosevelt.
Life Atlas Photography, Shutterstock

Mission Inn

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Riverside's Mission Inn is one of the most distinctive and unique buildings in all of California, and it's also hosted a boatload of presidents over the years—nine in total. The hotel even has a presidential lounge to commemorate the spot where Richard and Pat Nixon were married back in 1940. In addition to all the presidents, the hotel's impressive guest list also includes the likes of Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony, and John D. Rockefeller.
Jon Bilous, Shutterstock

Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

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Kennedy officially received his party's nomination at the late Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, at that time a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
Courtesy LA Public Library

Nixon's Bel Air rental

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Nixon was renting at this Bel Air home in 1961, when the massive Bel Air-Brentwood Fire broke out. The future president climbed up to the roof with a garden hose, helping to save both the house and a manuscript of his memoir, Six Crises.
The LIFE Picture Collection, Getty Images

Donald Trump's Beverly Hills home

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Trump has owned this Beverly Hills home since 2007 and hosted fundraisers here while campaigning for president. It's right across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel—another famous (and now, possibly infamous) Trump retreat.
Google Maps

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Richard Nixon's first law office

Richard Nixon's first law office in Whittier, in the old National Bank of Whittier Building, is now an AT&T "stealth cell site." Makes sense. The building was designed by John and Donald B. Parkinson and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ronald Reagan's SAG office

This apartment complex in Hollywood once housed Ronald Reagan's office when he was serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the late '40s and early '50s. Back then the building was called the Hollywood Professional Building.
Google Maps

Ronald Reagan's first LA home

Nearby are the Montecito Apartments—Ronald Reagan's first home in LA. Ben Vereen, Montgomery Clift, James Cagney, and Don Johnson have also lived in the building.

La Casa Pacifica

This estate in San Clemente served as Richard Nixon's Western White House when he was in office and his private residence after he resigned his office. The property helped put San Clemente on the map.

Rancho del Cielo

Ronald Reagan also had a Western White House: this ranch north of Santa Barbara that the 40th president also used as a vacation home from the 1970s through the 1990s. Nancy Reagan sold the estate to a conservative group in the late 1990s.

Century Plaza Hotel/St. Regis

The hotel was a frequent haunt of Reagan's, starting in 1984, when he was the first official guest to stay in its tower portion (now the St. Regis). The hotel's penthouse suite is dedicated to Reagan and his wife, Nancy.

Gerald Ford's post-White House home

Gerald and Betty Ford commissioned this Rancho Mirage golf course house from architect Welton Becket in the late 1970s. It comes with lots of Secret Service-friendly security amenities and sold in 2012 for $1.675 million.
Google Maps

Mauretania Apartments

Then-Senator John F. Kennedy rented the penthouse of this streamline moderne building in Hancock Park back in 1960 for the Democratic National Convention (at which he was nominated). He's said to have hosted Marilyn Monroe at the apartment.
Google Maps

Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools

The LAUSD schools built on the former site of the Ambassador Hotel are named for Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated at the hotel in 1968 just after winning the California presidential primary. Interestingly, the school district beat out a group led by current president Donald Trump for the right to develop the site. Trump hoped to build a massive skyscraper on the property, but was foiled when LAUSD obtained the land through eminent domain.
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Sunnylands

Walter and Leonore Annenberg's Rancho Mirage estate has hosted them all: seven U.S. presidents in total (in 1986, Ronald Reagan made a televised New Year's greeting to Mikhail Gorbachev from the house). The A. Quincy Jones-designed main house and a new visitors' center have now been opened to the public; the operators call it a West Coast Camp David.
The atrium of the historic house. The sculpture in the center of the atrium is an original casting of Eve, by Auguste Rodin, 1881. Photo by Graydon Wood

Ronald and Nancy Reagan's pre-presidency home

Ronald and Nancy's swanky midcentury residence in Pacific Palisades sold in 2013 for a little over $5 million before returning to the market earlier this year as a $33 million megamansion. Home to the Reagans from 1957 to 1981, it's where the Gipper famously received word of his election while in the shower.

Obama's dorm

President Obama spent his first two college years at Occidental, where, as a first-year student, he lived in a triple in the Haines Hall annex. According to the college, it was at Occidental that the future president first developed an interest in politics.

USS Iowa (BB-61)

It's not a building, but it does have a bathtub installed for FDR. Nicknamed the Battleship of Presidents (and also the somewhat less prestigious-sounding "Big Stick"), the vessel—now permanently moored off of San Pedro—has hosted Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in addition to Roosevelt.
Life Atlas Photography, Shutterstock

Mission Inn

Riverside's Mission Inn is one of the most distinctive and unique buildings in all of California, and it's also hosted a boatload of presidents over the years—nine in total. The hotel even has a presidential lounge to commemorate the spot where Richard and Pat Nixon were married back in 1940. In addition to all the presidents, the hotel's impressive guest list also includes the likes of Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony, and John D. Rockefeller.
Jon Bilous, Shutterstock

Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Kennedy officially received his party's nomination at the late Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, at that time a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
Courtesy LA Public Library

Nixon's Bel Air rental

Nixon was renting at this Bel Air home in 1961, when the massive Bel Air-Brentwood Fire broke out. The future president climbed up to the roof with a garden hose, helping to save both the house and a manuscript of his memoir, Six Crises.
The LIFE Picture Collection, Getty Images

Donald Trump's Beverly Hills home

Trump has owned this Beverly Hills home since 2007 and hosted fundraisers here while campaigning for president. It's right across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel—another famous (and now, possibly infamous) Trump retreat.
Google Maps