A Brief History of Gracie Mansion

Gracie Mansion

Tours of Gracie Mansion

General Tours are offered on most Wednesdays at 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM. General admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors, and students are admitted free of charge. Tours last approximately forty-five minutes.

Tea Tours are available for groups of 25-50 people on Tuesdays and Thursdays at $25 per person. A delicious selection of homemade tea sandwiches, teacakes and scones are served.

School Tours are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday mornings and are free of charge.

Please note that reservations are required for all tours.

To make reservations, to volunteer or to help support the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, call 311 or email gracietours@cityhall.nyc.gov.

Gracie Mansion: Through the Years
A  video featuring the history of the house and its grounds.

A Brief History

In 1799, a prosperous New York merchant named Archibald Gracie built a country house overlooking a bend in the East River, five miles north of the City. Financial failure forced Gracie to sell his house to Joseph Foulke in 1823, and in 1857, the house came into the possession of Noah Wheaton. The City of New York appropriated the estate in 1896, incorporating its 11 acres of grounds into the newly-formed Carl Schurz Park.

After decades of use as a concession stand and restrooms for the park, Gracie Mansion was restored and became the first home of the Museum of the City of New York. Soon after the museum moved to a larger space on Fifth Avenue, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses convinced City authorities to designate Gracie Mansion as the official residence of the Mayor, and in 1942, Fiorello H. La Guardia moved in.

Gracie Mansion was enlarged in 1966 with the addition of the Susan E. Wagner Wing, which includes a grand ballroom and two intimate reception rooms. The Gracie Mansion Conservancy was established in 1981, and under its guidance, the first major restoration was undertaken between 1981 and 1984.

Recent History

Public access to Gracie Mansion was limited until 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg fully opened Gracie Mansion up to the public and it has become the "People's House." Since then Gracie Mansion has been fully renovated and restored through continuous investment - funded with public and private dollars.

Since being opened to the public in 2002, Gracie Mansion hosts hundreds of community events like the Neighborhood Achievement Awards or the Veterans Day breakfast; ethnic heritage celebrations such as the Dominican Day or the Columbus Day celebrations; and City agency meetings, retreats and public tours.

Up to 50,000 people now visit Gracie Mansion annually and Gracie Mansion hosts approximately 150 events each year.

Gracie Mansion has three tour programs, including a robust and award-winning school tour program, a public tour program, and a tea tour program which accommodates groups of 25-50 people.

Gracie Mansion has also been used to accommodate visiting officials and dignitaries, such as former guests Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama.

The Gracie Mansion Conservancy

The Gracie Mansion Conservancy is a private not-for-profit corporation established in 1981 to preserve, maintain and enhance Gracie Mansion - one of the oldest surviving wood structures in Manhattan and a member of The Historic House Trust. The Conservancy's mission is to raise funds to restore the historic structure and acquire furnishings that illustrate the rich history of New York; improve the surrounding landscape and gardens; and provide educational services, including publications and tours.

View Gracie Mansion's Brochure

View A Visit to Gracie Mansion, the People’s House, a resource guide for teachers, students, and all visitors to Gracie Mansion.

View the Conservancy’s new Student Tour Booklet

See more photos of Gracie Mansion