NEW YORK (CNN) — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio ended weeks of speculation Wednesday with the announcement that he and his family will reside in Gracie Mansion — the first full-time occupants in the official residence for New York City mayors in a dozen years.
“For a variety of reasons, like logistical and security concerns, we’ve decided to move to Gracie Mansion,” the de Blasios said in a statement sent via Twitter. “It’s a practical choice but one that we make with respect and gratitude for the people of New York City.”
Calling the move” temporary,” the de Blasios said they will keep their row house in Park Slope and maintain a visible presence in the neighborhood.
Since de Blasio was elected in early November, he and his family have considered the logistical concerns of a possible move, including the lengthy commute of de Blasio’s son Dante, 16, to Brooklyn Technical High School.
The de Blasios could be one of the more high-profile first families in recent New York history.
The biracial clan was featured prominently in commercials and campaign events. Dante, then 15, appeared in his own ad over the summer that highlighted his father’s stance against the police department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, which critics say targeted minorities. Dante and his hair immediately became a social media sensation — and his dad surged in the polls.
De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, a political activist who once identified herself as lesbian before marrying him, emerged as a top campaign strategist. Dante appeared prominently in campaign ads, his soaring Afro a topic of conversation in political circles. Daughter Chiara, a college freshman, out-danced the rest of the telegenic family at the West Indian Day Parade with a move they called “The Smackdown.”
Soon they’ll call Gracie Mansion home. The luxurious mansion is located on East 88th Street in Manhattan and had remained unoccupied for 12 years since former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani lived there with his family.
Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg never lived in the mansion, preferring to stay in his Upper East Side townhouse. Bloomberg instead opened up Gracie Mansion to the public in 2002 for tours and events. Since then, the mansion has been fully renovated, according to the city website.
Merchant Archibald Gracie built the current structure in 1799, which at the time was located five miles north of the young city, according to the city website.
The city designated Gracie Mansion as the mayor’s official residence in 1942, the website said. Fiorello LaGuardia moved in and became the first mayor to reside there.
The stately home, overlooking the confluence of the East River and the Long Island Sound, sits on 14-acre Carl Schurz Park.