The official mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion was built in 1799 by shipping merchant Archibald Gracie, and enlarged in 1966. Nine mayors have lived here since it became the official residence in 1942, though Michael Bloomberg broke with tradition and chose to stay in his own 79th Street town house during his three terms as mayor. He poured millions into renovations at Gracie Mansion without spending a single night there. In January 2014, the newly prepped, polished, and spruced-up mansion became home to newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family—and the renovations resumed, this time to the roof, chimney, and railings. The "People's House"—with all its history and colorful rooms furnished over centuries and packed with American objets d'art—finally reopened its doors (and tours) to the people in late 2015. As well as a spruced-up interior and exterior, visitors can see that the resident first family of New York City has been busy adding its personal touch to the 200-year-old
mansion, swapping out much of the artwork to better reflect the city's diversity. The collection now includes a bill of sale for a slave, a portrait of Frederick Douglass, and Native American artifacts. Tours are offered once weekly and reservations must be made online; plan at least two weeks in advance, if possible.