9. Gracie Mansion Used to be Much Smaller
In 1964, when Robert Wagner was mayor, he initiated plans for an addition to Gracie Mansion. Wagner hired Mott B. Schmidt as the lead architect and Edward Coe Embury, F. Burral Hoffman, and John Barrington Bayley to look over the details reflected in the historic architecture of the main house. This new two-story wing, which would be attached to the end of the main house, was later named the Susan B. Wagner wing in memory of former Mayor Wagner’s wife who passed away from lung cancer during the addition’s construction.
A quirk that resulted from extending the house is that the chandelier and gilded mirror are not perfectly aligned in the dining room as they are in every other room in the mansion. Before electricity, the mirrors helped disperse light throughout the room by reflecting it from the chandelier. When the dining room was lengthened, the location of the fireplace, where the mirror hangs, and the chandelier which hangs above the center of the table, shifted, changing the light dynamics in the room.