Virtual Visit: The New York State Executive Mansion
Explore the historic home of New York's governors and their families.
Home to 32 Governors
Queen Anne style Mansion
1 Original Pear Tree
Rented for $9,000/Year in 1874
Purchased for $45,000 in 1877
The mansion was originally built in 1856 for Albany businessman Thomas Olcott, seen here standing on the front porch.
In the 1870s, under new owner Robert Johnson, the first round of renovations to the mansion took place, bringing a French Empire style.
Exterior of the Executive Mansion, 1925.
Exterior of the mansion grounds, 1960.
Governor Tilden hosted a grand reception for editor and poet William Cullen Bryant in 1875.
After serving in the NYS Senate, Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in as governor in 1929.
Executive Mansion dining room during Nelson Rockefeller’s governorship 1959-1973.
In 1961, an electrical fire broke out in the mansion destroying the drawing room.
Present day exterior of the Executive Mansion.
The mansion is just a block away from the Empire State Plaza.
Was the Executive Mansion originally built for the New York State Governor?
It was originally built in 1856 for an Albany businessman and his family. It was acquired by New York State in 1877 and officially became known as the New York State Executive Mansion.
Has the Executive Mansion been restored?
Beginning in 1983, First Lady Mrs. Matilda Cuomo undertook to preserve the historic nature of the house. Mrs. Cuomo oversaw the restoration of nearly the entire first and second floors with the help of private funding. Much of this significant contribution to the Executive Mansion’s history is visible today.
Who assisted in designing both the New York State Capitol and the Executive Mansion?
In the 1880s under Governor David B. Hill, Capitol architect Isaac Perry sent stone carvers from the NYS Capitol to assist with renovations at the Executive Mansion.
What sort of interesting pets have lived in the Executive Mansion?
When Governor Al Smith lived in the Executive Mansion, he had a petting zoo in the backyard that had several animals at one point including seven dogs, one elk, three bears, four raccoons, one possum, four monkeys, one goat, one donkey, two ponies, rabbits, barn owls, and pheasants.
What is the Princess Suite?
The Princess Suite in the Executive Mansion is named after Princess Beatrix (later Queen Beatrix) of the Netherlands who stayed in the suite at the mansion in 1959.
What other famous people have stayed in the Princess Suite?
Other famous persons who have stayed in the Suite include Presidents such as Harry Truman, William McKinley, and William Taft; foreign dignitaries such as the King and Queen of Denmark and Prime Minister Golda Meir; and notable figures like Senator Robert Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Eve Curie, and Admiral Robert Bird.
Are there any unique stories from a Governor’s time at the Mansion?
On the day of his inauguration and after a night of celebration, Governor Theodore Roosevelt found himself accidently locked out of the Executive Mansion.