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In 1799, a prosperous New York merchant named Archibald Gracie built a country house overlooking a sleepy, scenic bend in the East River, five miles north of what was then New York City. More than two centuries later, Gracie Mansion is an historic treasure in the heart of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant cities. It is one of the oldest surviving wood structures in Manhattan, a member of New York’s Historic House Trust, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Financial hardship, caused in part by the trade barriers of the War of 1812, forced Gracie to sell his house in 1823 to Joseph Foulke and his family. In 1857, Noah Wheaton purchased the property and continued to use it as a country retreat. In 1896, the City of New York appropriated the estate due to the non-payment of taxes, incorporating its 11 acres into East River Park,which was renamed in 1910 for the German-American statesman Carl Schurz.

After years of use as a concession stand and as restrooms for the Park, Gracie Mansion was restored and in 1925 became the first home of the Museum of the City of New York. When the Museum moved to its Colonial Revival building on Fifth Avenue, Gracie Mansion became one of the first historic house museums run by the Parks Department. Its “power broker” Commissioner Robert Moses convinced City authorities to designate the house as the official residence of the Mayor. In 1942, Fiorello H. La Guardia and his family moved in, prompted in part by security precautions mandated by the United States’ entry into World War II.

Gracie Mansion was enlarged in 1966 with the addition of the Susan E. Wagner Wing, which includes a ballroom and two reception rooms dedicated to official events and public gatherings. In 1981, after years of neglect and erosion of any trace of history, Mayor Edward I. Koch and founding Chair Joan K. Davidson established the Gracie Mansion Conservancy as a public/private partnership. Under its guidance, the first major restoration of the house was undertaken between 1981 and 1984.


In addition to creating a connection between the original house and the Wagner Wing, this project included the display of art, furniture, and decorative objects either purchased or, more often, lent by the City’s many cultural institutions. The charter mandate of the Conservancy was not to seal the residence in the past (especially since there is no record of how the interior originally appeared), but to protect its history while accommodating change and progress by successive generations of New Yorkers.

In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg updated the interior and exterior of the “People’s House”  and increased accessibility to the public and City agencies.


During the incumbency of Mayor Bill deBlasio, commencing in 2014, he and his wife Chirlane McCray promoted a series of themed exhibitions that celebrated Gracie Mansion as the “People’s House” and illuminated New York’s diversity and place in local and national history.  Today, Gracie Mansion continues to retain its place, as proclaimed by Mayor LaGuardia. as New York’s “little White House.”


Welcome to the “People’s House.”


List of mayors of

New York City


  • Thomas Willett 

  • Thomas Delavall 


  • Robert F. Wagner Jr.


  • Cornelius Van Steewy
    1668- 1671

  • Eric Adams


& Arts

Permanent Collections and Long-Term Loans


  • Since the year 1963, when First Lady of New York City, Susan Edwards Wagner (1909-1964) conceived and realized the public wing at Gracie Mansion, antiques and other decorative arts have been donated or loaned on an ongoing basis to adorn Gracie Mansion’s interior.

  • These furnishings and artworks comprise the current exhibit of the Permanent Collection and Long-Term Loans and testify to the generous nature of New Yorkers everywhere.


Flower Arrangements


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181 East End Avenue, New York, NY 10128
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