Nestled on the very East corner of the Upper East Side is (get this!)…an actual house. Actually one better than a house…a MANSION. Pretty impressive by NYC standards, huh?! Gracie Mansion is where our Mayors have lived since 1942 (all of them, in fact, except for Bloomberg), and every Monday you can take a guided tour of the space at 10am, 11am, or 5pm…just sign up here!
The docent takes you around the first floor of the home–essentially viewing six rooms. The second floor is where the current Mayor and his family reside, so for obvious reasons that’s closed off from the public. (Although I did spy a pair of running sneakers at the bottom of the stairs which I’m pretttttyyyyyyy sure were Mayor De Blasio’s;-)
Built in 1799 by shipping merchant Archibald Gracie (do you love that name as much as I do?;-), there’s a lot of history in the space, as well as some pretty classy antiques. My favorite part, however, was the incredible amount of eclectic artwork that graced the walls. There was a little bit of everything–traditional painted portraits of the original Gracie children, photographs taken in Harlem decades ago, and even an original Andy Warhol hanging over an otherwise very conservative settee in the parlor.
The tour is free, and such a fun way to get a piece of NYC history. Plus, when else are you ever going to step foot in a NYC mansion?!
Location: Gracie Mansion // East End Avenue and 88th Street
p.s. interested in checking out more cool NYC homes? head to Queens to tour Louis Armstrong’s house!