GRACIE MANSION is located on an 11-acre piece of land at Carl Schurz Park overlooking the East River on the Upper East Side – all the way East -- at East End Avenue and East 88th Street. It is a 16-room Federal style-wooden-country house, built in 1799 by the carpenter, Eliza Weeks, for shipping merchant Archibald Gracie, in an area the Dutch called Hellegat (meaning ''bright passage") due to its location at the East River. From Hellegat the English came up with the name Hell's Gate which they used to refer to “the narrow and treacherous channel” here at the East River between Ward’s Island and the borough of Queens.
The mansion’s significant today is that it is the official residence for New York City’s mayors (although the City’s current mayor chooses to live at his own Upper East Side home). In 1942 Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia became the first NYC Mayor to reside here. The Department of Parks purchased the estate in 1896 and the building became the first home of the Museum of the City of New York in 1924. Gracie Mansion is five miles north of downtown Manhattan and not conveniently located for a Mayor who must travel to City Hall each day. There is a beautiful view of the river and the Triborough Bridge from the mansion.