Archibald Gracie's Mansion
Archibald Gracie spent the Washington Administration creating many important New York City financial institutions which set the American economy on the path to success.
Gracie is perhaps best known for his Mansion, which is currently used as the residence for New York City’s Mayor.
Archibald Gracie saved his money as a clerk in a London merchant house when he saw an opportunity.
The American Revolutionary War had just concluded, and he decided to use his savings to move to the United States and attempt to take advantage of the post-war economy.
After a brief sojourn to Virginia (where he worked exporting tobacco) Gracie moved to New York City and became a prosperous merchant.
As his financial endeavors succeeded, Archibald began working in several other upstart businesses.
He joined the Tontine Association which traded in stocks before joining the Eagle Fire Insurance Company and the New York Insurance Company. Gracie also spent time as director of the United States Bank and Bank of America (not the BoA around today).
Archie was also a founding member of the New York Bank for Savings. At the time, most banks had clientele which had significant amounts of money to deposit. The New York Bank for Savings was the first to be targeted at ‘the poor’ and gave average Americans the opportunity to earn interest on their money.
He also spent a quarter of a century as the Vice President of the New York Chamber of Commerce.
Archibald Gracie used his fortune to build one of the largest houses in New York City.
Gracie Mansion became a hotspot for the well to-do (and well connected) of New York to meet and socialize. Some of the most frequent guests were his close friend John Jay and sometime business partner Alexander Hamilton (who allegedly founded the New York Evening Post there).
Gracie sold the mansion later in life. It changed hands several times during the 19th century before being purchased by the city in 1891.
After being remolded, Gracie Mansion was transformed for its current use…as the residence for the Mayor of New York City.
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