Mayors Shouldn’t Live in Gracie Mansion, Bloomberg Says

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that he believed the next mayor should not live in Gracie Mansion, where mayors from Fiorello H. La Guardia to Rudolph W. Giuliani have lived, because to do so would be a waste of the city’s money.

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire with several homes around the world, decided when he was elected to continue living in his elegant Beaux-Arts town house on East 79th Street rather than move into Gracie Mansion. He was the first mayor not to live in the mansion since 1942, when it became the official residence.

But on Tuesday, he said that he thought the tradition should end, and that his successor should follow his example.

“To take one of the great houses in this city away from the public I just think is wrong,” he said at a news conference about the city’s efforts to nurture small businesses.

“The mayor should not live there,” he added. “And I think, you know, everybody’s going to understand if a mayor lives there, then what they’re doing is they’re costing this city a lot of money, and depriving the rest of the city of one of the great facilities any city has.”

Mr. Bloomberg rarely brings up such topics on his own, but on Tuesday he did, appearing eager to respond to an article in The Wall Street Journal saying the next mayor would probably live in Gracie Mansion, which is at East End Avenue and 88th Street.

After the reporter who wrote that article, Michael Howard Saul, asked Mr. Bloomberg a question about the budget in the process of being finalized by the State Legislature, Mr. Bloomberg said, “I thought you were going to ask about living in Gracie Mansion.” And he then offered his thoughts on the matter.

Referring to former Mayor Edward I. Koch, who told The Journal that Gracie Mansion was “one of the most beautiful places in the whole city to live” and that he urged any future mayor to live there, Mr. Bloomberg said he loved and respected Mr. Koch, but disagreed with him.

“It’s a great house for everybody and not for one family, and it should be used as we use it now,” he said. “There are events every day at Gracie Mansion throughout the whole house. If a mayor’s family is living there, most of that house, a good half of it, is just not available.”

“A lot of people want to be mayor,” he said. “You don’t have to give them extra money as a housing allowance.”

Mr. Bloomberg, in addition to eschewing taxpayer-financed housing, takes only $1 a year in salary. He did not say whether he thought the next mayor should continue his practice as well.

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