Gracie Mansion should be off-limits for use as a residence, New York's billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.
Bloomberg, who uses Gracie Mansion for official events only while he lives in an upper East Side townhouse, said having it converted back to a mayoral residence would burden the city with unnecessary costs, the New York Post reported.
"You know a lot of people want to be mayor," Bloomberg reportedly said. "You don't have to give them extra money as a housing allowance."
He added: "To take one of the great houses in this city away from the public I just think is wrong."
An article in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday had cited some of Bloomberg’s would-be successors as saying that, if elected, they would move into Gracie Mansion, near 88th Street and East End Avenue.
Bloomberg, who owns multiple properties around the world, had not spent a single night there, despite entreaties from his girlfriend, Diana Taylor, the paper reported.
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The New York Daily News quoted mayoral hopeful John Liu as saying the mayor’s comments were "like asking the President to move out of the White House."
However, he said he'd be willing to stay in his Queens home if there were a better public use for the mansion.
Gracie Mansion became the mayor’s house in 1942 when Fiorello LaGuardia moved in. Subsequent mayors, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, lived there.
The New York Times noted that the mansion's colorful history, writing that over the course of its life it had served as a shipping magnate’s country residence, an ice cream shop, and housed public restrooms and classes for immigrants.
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