Gracie Mansion, Official Mayoral Residence, May Become Home Again After 12 Years Without Bloomberg

New York Daily NewsApril 25, 2013
The 200-year-old Federal-style home has been host only to city events since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office in 2002. Before him, each mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia lived there.

After 12 years of unrumpled sheets, historic Gracie Mansion is on the verge of becoming a home again — to Mayor Bloomberg’s chagrin.

With his mayoralty winding down, Bloomberg said Thursday that despite pleas from his gal pal Diana Taylor, he plans to leave office Dec. 31 without ever having slept at the official mayoral residence.

And he’s not wild about the next mayor moving in.

Only one mayoral candidate has turned down living in Gracie Mansion if elected: Republican billionaire John Catsimatidis. Christine Quinn, John Liu, Joe Lhota, Bill de Blasio, Catsimatidis and Adolfo Carrion have not ruled it out.

“I’ve never spent a night here. My girlfriend does want to spend one night, but it’s a better story if we never spend any nights here,” said Bloomberg, a billionaire who still lives in the glitzy upper East Side townhouse he called home before his election in 2001.

“The next mayor, I guarantee you, will live here, which in some sense is a shame because that will mean the house which we use all day long, every day, will not be available for public events,” he said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has lived in his upper East Side townhouse since 2001, using Gracie Mansion only as an event space.

“There’s almost no cities that provide housing for mayors. A lot of people want to be mayor, so I don’t think you have to provide housing. It doesn’t seem to be a (necessary) incentive.”

The 200-year-old, five-bedroom, Federal-style manse on East End Ave. housed every mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia (1934 to 1945) until Bloomberg.

Apartments of that size rent for $75,000 a month, but with Gracie you get “your own little patch of green in Manhattan,” said Jarrod Guy Randolph, a vice president of CORE, a real estate firm in Manhattan.

A portrait of William Gracie, the Scottish merchant who original lived in the home, overlooks the library.

The next mayor likely will move in: Only one of the mayoral hopefuls surveyed by the Daily News ruled out living there.

“It’s where people expect the mayor to live,” said former city Controller William Thompson.

The Gracie Mansion entry was built in 1966, featuring an elegant 18th-century style in keeping with the buildings Federal architecture.

Republican Joe Lhota said he wants his 14-year-old black Lab to have “an opportunity to run on the lawn,” although he said he might split his time with his Brooklyn Heights home.

“I think Ed Koch did it the right way. He lived there during the week and lived at home in on weekends,” Lhota said.

Former Democratic City Councilman Sal Albanese said he’d likely move in —•• though his wife would make the final call.

The blue ballroom, built in196, offers plenty of natural light.

“I don’t know if my neighbors would appreciate having all the security around,” said

Albanese, who lives in a semi-detached home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

He recalled his house was picketed when he cast a pro-gay rights vote in the ‘80s. “I remember what that did to my neighbors... You know there would be demonstrations.”

The mansion's master bedroom features a four-post bed from around 1830.

Republican George McDonald and Adolfo Carrion, the candidate of the Independence Party, also said they’d live at Gracie.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said he hasn’t decided where he’d hang his hat, but he turned the question into an attack on Bloomberg.

“His arrogance on this topic is just boundless. He has a multi-million-dollar townhouse and he thinks everyone else must have something like that,” said de Blasio, who lives in a Park Slope, Brooklyn row house worth just over a million dollars with his wife and two kids.

“We certainly have enough room, but...there’s one bathroom, so we fight over the bathroom all the time. When all four of us are there and everyone has a tight morning schedule, it becomes quite aggressive. Gracie obviously has a little more space, that’s one thing I’ll note, but I love life in Brooklyn, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn was noncommittal, too. “I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch, but rest assured, wherever they hatch, Kim and my two rescue dogs Justin and Sadie will be there,” she said.

Only billionaire John Catsimatidis ruled out the idea.

“The Catsimatidis family would remain at their current apartment on Manhattan’s East Side. Gracie Mansion would continue to be used as a site to host official functions of the City of New York,” said spokesman Rob Ryan.

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