Gracie Mansion: 75 Years as the People’s House – The Anatomy of a New York Landmark.

Paul Gunther, Gracie Mansion Conservancy Executive Director.


The lecture starts at 6:30 P.M.  – RECEPTION TO FOLLOW.

Paul Gunther, Gracie Mansion Conservancy Executive Director since 2015, in his lecture will explore the Mansion’s evolution architecturally, culturally, and politically in its first 218 years, and mark the Mansion’s 75th Anniversary as the official residence of New York City’s Mayor.

In 1799, a prosperous New York merchant named Archibald Gracie built a country house overlooking a sleepy, scenic bend in the East River. More than two centuries later, Gracie Mansion survives as a living landmark in one of New York’s oldest surviving wood structures.  It commands one of the greatest and most historically strategic vistas in the entire region.

After decades of shifting ownership and use, Robert Moses, convinced City authorities to designate the house as the official residence of the Mayor. In 1942, Fiorello La Guardia moved in and labeled it “The Little White House,’ a function it has maintained ever since, except for the last nonresident mayor, who renewed its dual identity as “The People’s House” open to all and imparting lessons in history and civic engagement. To mark this anniversary a special installation in the Mansion called New York 1942 recalls the tumultuous time of the residence’s advent.

Paul Gunther is a 1978 graduate of Yale College whose career spanning five decades has centered on nonprofit cultural and civic institutions in New York and Paris, France. Before his present assignment, he served for a decade as president of the nationwide Institute of Classical Architecture & Art headquartered at the General Society since 2003.  This year marked publication by Rizzoli of his book New York Living: Reinventing Home.

20 WEST 44th Street (BETWEEN 5TH AND 6th AVENUES), New York City.

Advance registration is recommended.  Admission: $15 General admission; $10 General Society members & Senior Citizens; $5 Students. Please reserve tickets here.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural A­ffairs, in partnership with the City Council.