New Yorkers wishing to go beyond the privacy fence at Gracie Mansion are in luck: The the Gracie Mansion Conservancy announced Wednesday that the public will be welcomed back to the "People's House" starting November 10, along with a free (but ticketed) open house on October 25. It has well over a year since the last public tours of the historic Upper East Side home, which became the Mayor's house once again when the De Blasio family moved in last year. In addition to the resumption of tours, there will be a new art exhibit consisting of works from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
To enter to win tickets to the open house, visitors must visit the Gracie Mansion Conservancy web site here, but the ticket giveaway won't be active until October 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The exhibit, called "Windows on the City: Looking Out at Gracie's New York," will include 49 new works and focus on the period from roughly 1763 to 1825 (the home itself was built in 1799). Highlights include stoneware from a free African American, a portrait of the daughter of the then-governor of Connecticut (okay?), Native American artifacts, Cantonware from New York's early trade with China, and more. Also featured is "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery," more commonly known as "The Gradual Emancipation Act," which is on loan from the New York State Archives.
"The New York City experience has always been one of many peoples and many cultures. I'm delighted that this new installation will reflect our vibrant history—and remind us all that this city is always at its best when we make room for everyone," said Mayor de Blasio in a statement.
The de Blasios are the first first family to live at Gracie Mansion since Rudy Giuliani's mayorship: During his reign, Michael Bloomberg decided to live in his own Upper East Side townhouse and use Gracie Mansion for functions. But the executive residence has been closed to the public since Mayor de Blasio and his family moved in last year, and a solid white fence was constructed inside the existing red brick wall and wrought iron fence. Gracie Mansion has also undergone a restoration that reportedly cost $3.4 million. That included removal of asbestos and the replacement of a leaky roof.
· Gracie Mansion Open House Ticket Giveaway [Official]
· Gracie Mansion to Undergo Roof Replacement [Curbed]
· See de Blasio's 'Privacy Fence' [Curbed]
· De Blasio builds 'privacy fence' around Gracie Mansion [NYP]
· No public tours at Gracie Mansion since de Blasio moved in [NYP]