Bill Thompson Defends His Right To Move Into Gracie Mansion

gracie mansion large Bill Thompson Defends His Right To Move Into Gracie Mansion

Gracie Mansion (Photo: NYC.gov)

Bill Thompson doesn’t agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the next mayor shouldn’t move to Gracie Mansion. In a statement released this evening, Mr. Thompson, who finished a close second to Mr. Bloomberg in the 2009 mayoral election and is running again next year, said the mansion is the traditional home of the city’s chief executive.

“Mayors living in Gracie Mansion are part of the rich tradition and history of New York City. Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks fly in the face of former mayors Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins, Ed Koch and every other former mayor who has lived there,” Mr. Thompson said. 

Mr. Bloomberg, whose estimated $22 billion fortune affords him several homes around the world, opted to remain in his $16 million Upper East Side townhouse rather than move into Gracie Mansion when he took office in 2002. He was the first mayor not to live in the mansion since it became the mayor’s official residence in 1942. Mr. Bloomberg made his comments about the issue, unprompted, during an unrelated press conference today in response to a Wall Street Journal article that said his successor would probably return to Gracie Mansion.

“To take one of the great houses in this city away from the public I just think is wrong. … The mayor should not live there,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “And I think, you know, everybody’s going to understand if a mayor lives there, then what they’re doing is they’re costing this city a lot of money, and depriving the rest of the city of one of the great facilities any city has.”

Gracie Mansion is located at 88th Street and East End Avenue. It was built as a country home in 1799 by the shipping mogul Archibald Gracie. New York City took possession of the mansion in 1896 and, in 1942, influential Parks Commissioner Robert Moses convinced the City to make it the mayor’s official residence.