During Michael Bloomberg’s Mayoral service, not once did he spend a night in Gracie Mansion, the home that was his official residence. Instead, the billionaire opted for a five-story Upper East Side townhouse. Though Bloomberg chose not to reside in the landmarked home, he did pay for Gracie Mansion to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation. But 2014 means a new mayor is running New York City, and with Bill de Blasio, Gracie Mansion will welcome its first full time mayor since Rudy Giuliani.
Gracie Mansion was built in 1799 by Archibald Gracie, a prosperous merchant. The two-story home was built in then rural Manhattan, overlooking the East River. Gracie sold his mansion in 1823 to pay for his debts, and the mansion had two other owners until the City took control of the estate in 1896. Gracie Mansion and its accompanying 11 acres were incorporated into Carl Schurz Park, which had just been formed.
For several years, Gracie Mansion served as a concession stand and restroom for the park, and later on became the first Museum of the City of New York. When the museum moved on to Fifth Avenue, Robert Moses, then serving as Parks Commissioner, convinced the City to designate Gracie Mansion as “the official residence of the Mayor of the City of New York.”
The first mayor to reside in Gracie Mansion was Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the 99th Mayor of the City of New York. For such an iconic fixture, Gracie Mansion has only been home to 9 mayors. Bill de Blasio will be the 10th.
The approximately 4000-square-foot home is quaint, though no one other than the Mayor, the Mayor’s family and visiting public officials are able to reside overnight in Gracie Mansion. De Blasio is in no hurry to move from his Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone to his new Upper East Side home, according to the Daily News.
“We have not set a date yet. It’s going to be a little while,” said the Mayor. “With all the snowstorms and planes landing on the Deegan Expressway, we’ve been kind of busy.”