You'll need to make a reservation online (www.nyc.gov/gracie), but this residence is worth seeing. You'll hear the history of the house, built in 1799 by shipping merchant Archibald Gracie. You'll view many of the rooms containing furnishings and many decorative touches from previous eras. As of Oct 2013, you can see the family residence because Mayor Bloomberg chose not to live there, but this may change once a new mayor moves in. The tour only takes about 45 minutes and the fee is very reasonable -- $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, and students are admitted free of charge. It may be the best bargain in New York! The volunteers who conduct the tours are very knowledgeable and do a wonderful job. After touring the house, be sure to stroll through Carl Schurz Park, a lovely park along the East River.
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