Gracie Mansion, home to the de Blasio family and the ghost of Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie, reopened to the public on Sunday following months of closure for asbestos removal. Gothamist got a look inside the 216-year-old mansion's fancy Federal-style ballrooms and parlors, in addition to the 49 eighteenth and nineteenth-century artworks that are now on display.
You can watch the video and click through photos above to see highlights from the “Windows on the City" collection, which includes portraits of Gracie family members, an Iroquois pipe tomahawk, and a copy of NY State's Gradual Emancipation Act of 1799, which declared that all children born to African slaves in the state after that year would be freed after serving for their mother's masters for 25 to 28 years.
The collection, which is curated by Kalia Brooks, offers an interesting survey of New York City in 1799 (when the mansion was first built), and some pieces, like an 1820 landscape of Downtown Brooklyn by Louisa Ann Colman, make for a fascinating trip back in time. But the real fun here is getting a glimpse of the mansion itself, which was once frequented by the likes of now-hip Alexander Hamilton, and features chandelier-filled dining rooms, winding staircases, mosaic floors, and marble fireplaces—just like your apartment! So shocking the de Blasios gave up Park Slope for this.
Art lovers who'd like to see both the mansion and the "Windows on the City" installation can reserve a tour online, with public tours resuming on November 10th.
Video by Jessica Leibowitz.