3. Alexander Hamilton died in front of the Gracie Mansion ballroom fireplace

Gracie mansion fireplace

In 1804, after being shot in a duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken, New Jersey, Alexander Hamilton was transported to the home of the Bayard family who lived in the West Village. It was in front of the fireplace that Hamilton likely died on July 12th. But in 1966, when Gracie Mansion was redeveloped, the fireplace from the Bayard home was installed in the ballroom. Still housed in New York City are the pistols that were used by Hamilton and Burr, which are part of the permanent collection of JP Morgan Chase Headquarters.

Gracie Mansion also became the mayor’s residence as a protection mechanism against Nazi attacks. Robert Moses thought it would be safer and easier to evacuate the mayor from the mansion in case of a Nazi attack; the Nazis had attempted to infiltrate Grand Central Terminal. La Guardia ended up moving in as the First New York Mayor who resided in Gracie Mansion, nicknaming it the “Little White House.”