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Gracie Mansion was built in 1799 as the country home of wealthy shipping magnate Archibald Gracie. Prior to this, the site was occupied by a 17th century farm which briefly served as a fort under General George Washington until its destruction by the British in 1776.
The Mansion housed the Museum of the City of New York until 1932, and became the official residence of the Mayor in 1942. Its first resident was the legendary Fiorello LaGuardia.
In order to host an increasing number of public functions, Mayor Robert F. Wagner and his First Lady, Susan E Wagner, initiated plans for an additional wing. Mrs Wagner died in 1964 and the new wing, completed in 1966, was named in her memory.
Time inevitably took its toll on the Mansion, and Mayor Edward Koch instigated a major conservation project in 1981 to restore the building to its former glory. The non-profit Gracie Mansion Conservancy continues today, under the leadership of the City's present mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, to promote and maintain this historic site and its rich collection of indigenously created New York art.
Address: East End Avenue (at 88th Street) New York, NY 10128
Tel: (212) 570 0985 or (212) 570 4751 (Curator)
10 & 11am and 1 & 2pm on Wednesdays only from March to mid-November. Pre-booking your guided tour is compulsory and reservations should be made least three weeks ahead.
Admission charges: Adults $3.00 (Senior Citizens $2.00 Children and Students FREE).