Happy birthday, Executive Mansion

Executive Mansion

The Executive Mansion, as seen in a postcard from 1907 -- not too many years after Teddy Roosevelt referred to the place as a "gloomy pile," according to The New York Times.

By Akum Norder

Has your day been light on random historical facts? Fear not. We're here to help.

It was on this day 134 years ago that New York state's Executive Mansion officially opened.

Built for a banker in the 1850s, the 40-room house at 138 Eagle Street was being used as a rental by Gov. Samuel J. Tilden in the 1870s when the state decided to buy it. New York had not previously given its governors an official residence.

Gov. Tilden hosted a public reception at the mansion on Jan. 25, 1877, to mark its entry into public service.

The huge house has been neglected of late. Reportedly, Pataki, Spitzer and Paterson never really settled in there. The New York Times reported recently on the Cuomo family's love for the place, and Andrew Cuomo's enthusiasm for moving back in.

Want to tour the Executive Mansion? You can, for free, on Thursdays, if you make reservations at least two weeks in advance.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Find It

Executive Mansion
138 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12202


Akum Norder is hilarious. That's two zingers today.

I collect old postcards, but I've never seen this one before. I wonder what those buildings behind the Executive Mansion were in 1907.

Would Andy really be moving "back in?" It's my understanding he was like 25 when his family started living there, and I'm pretty sure he didn't live with his folks.

@Jackers: From the New York Daily News: "Andrew Cuomo lived there during part of his father's tenure. He served as an unpaid top aide to Mario Cuomo, who lived full time in the Albany mansion." http://nydn.us/eJKHXK

I love the fact that the Executive Mansion is right in the heart of Albany (which I know was common when it was built, but I can't imagine happening today). Every time I'm at the Hill Street Cafe, I keep my eyes peeled for gubernatorial pool games or shot-drinking contests. You never know when Cuomo will pop around the corner for a drink, after all.

I believe the buildings in the background were an "orphanage", and each Christmas time some of the kids got to spend time with whomever the governor was. There are pictures of "orphans" with FDR and Eleanor in the drawing room at Christmas time in the Mansion's collections. The Mansion as is, was a renovation of a former working farmhouse, in the Italianate design, that was on this site, and at that time this was considered out in the "country".

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