Bloomberg says letting his successor stay in Gracie is like giving Marty Markowitz the run of Prospect Park
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning stood firm in his belief that the next mayor of New York City should live somewhere other than Gracie Mansion, the traditional mayoral residence, and said returning it to mayoral housing would be akin to making Prospect Park the private lair of Marty Markowitz.
"The bottom line is, think about it, this is a public house, a public piece of property," said the mayor, who lives in a very expensive private townhouse on the Upper East Side, when he's not weekending in Bermuda. "Do you want to turn it into a private house? Plain and simple. Now, we could take Prospect Park and say, let's make it a private park for the borough president of Brooklyn. He might like that. I don't think you want to do that."
Earlier this week, the mayor made news by making a similar argument, absent the Brooklyn piece.
Gracie Mansion, in Carl Schurz Park, has only been the mayoral home since 1942. Formerly it served as an ice cream parlor and as the setting for classes in carpentry and E.S.L.
"Somebody said, 'Oh it's the same thing as the White House,' continued the mayor, who was doing his Friday morning routine on WOR's John Gambling Show. "The White House has been the White House since day one. Nobody had this house for the mayor. It was bathrooms and concession stands for Carl Schurz Park, before they turned it into a house. There is no other big city that provides housing for its mayor."
Right now, the mayor uses the house for public, and private, events.
"It has nothing to do with whether or not the mayor can afford to live there," said Bloomberg. "That's just, you know, it's just, it was sort of outrageous to say that, for godsakes. If you want the job, here's the salary. If the city wants to make the salary higher, you can raise the salary. You can give a housing allowance. And rent a place someplace. But to take one of the great old houses in the city, that's the history of the city ..."
"One of the few," interjected Gambling.
"You know every mayoral candidate as far as I know has an apartment someplace, or a house," the mayor said.