Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Osgood House’

The presidential mansions of New York City

October 15, 2012

Before the District of Columbia became home base for the president, New York had that honor.

So after he was sworn into office at Federal Hall on Wall Street in April 1789, George Washington moved into One Cherry Street.

Known as the Samuel Osgood House (at right), it was considered one of the finest in the city, “brick, square, and spacious.”

It had “the best of furniture in every room, and the greatest quantity of plate and china I ever saw,” an acquaintance wrote. “The whole of the first and second story is papered, and the floor covered with the richest of carpets.”

The mansion was open to the public on Thursday afternoons, when President Washington received visitors “of respectable appearance.”

The Osgood house wasn’t the only presidential mansion in New York.

In February 1790, the Washingtons moved into the Macomb Mansion at 39 Broadway on Bowling Green (at left, in an 1830s sketch).

It was a grander home that better accommodated his staff and visitors (depicted in the painting above) with a view of the Hudson.

They didn’t last long there. In August 1790, they decamped to Philadelphia, the new presidential host city, while a permanent home was being built on a swamp between Maryland and Virginia.

The Washingtons never lived in the D.C. White House, of course; the first occupant was the second U.S. president, John Adams.

[First and Third images: NYPL Digital Collection. Painting by Daniel Huntington, 1861]