No tour of historic New York City residences is complete without a visit to Gracie Mansion. Archibald Gracie built a country home for his family in 1799 with his fortune made in shipping. After passing through several hands, the city purchased the building, which served as the original home of the Museum of the City of New York. Robert Moses convinced Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to move into the renovated mansion in 1942 and ever since it has served as the official residence of the city's chief executive. Like the real White House, visiting hours are limited and by guided tour only. Unless, of course, you are summoned for an audience with the Mayor.
Anybody who can live here and doesn't has got to be nuts
What You Will See
The historic home is active not only as the residence of the Mayor and his family but for official city business and celebrations. Mayor Bloomberg, who is the only mayor not to live in the house, restored the home and turned it into a "People's House"--a museum of New York City history open to the public. Bloomberg's successor, Mayor de Blasio, moved his family into the house and public visiting house were significantly cut. However, the Mayor and his wife helped curate a change of exhibits and visitors can see historic paintings, important documents and the period decor of the home, all during a ticketed (but free) 45-minute guided tour.
Why You Should Go
Gracie Mansion offers a unique opportunity to connect with the municipal leadership of the city. The art, decorations, and artifacts on display were selected by the Mayor and his family to reflect the values and goals of the administration. Many of the works are on loan from major museums around the city, including the Museum of the City of New York, the New-York Historical Society and National Museum of the American Indian. Works highlight the immigrant experience in New York and the resulting ethnic diversity as well as the role of the New York in global commerce and resulting inequality. Additional works connect New York City to the American Revolution and the founding of America. Come to learn more about the city, the country and the current Mayor's vision for the future.